Imprisoned father who kidnapped daughter refuses to reveal her whereabouts
Tearful mother fears her daughter was sold to family in husband's native Pakistan
A father who kidnapped his three-year-old daughter from Britain, took her to his native Pakistan - and refuses to reveal her whereabouts, has left a devastated mother who has no idea where she is on what would have been her sixth birthday.
A computer-generated image of what Atiya might look like today.
A global inquiry spanning three countries has not revealed a single clue, leaving Wilkinson fearing the worst. Wilkinson says that Atiya may have been sold by her father to another family living in Pakistan or Iran.
The 32-year-old Wilkinson, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, has not seen Atiya since her third birthday in 2009. Wilkinson sobbed as she pleaded for information about what happened to her daughter.
"I pray she's okay but we don't have any proof that she's okay and no proof she is even still alive," she said. "It's been discussed that she could have been sold, but I don't want to believe it.
"As far as I'm aware she hasn't been with any family member so I can only assume she's with strangers.
"To know that she's safe, to know that she's being looked after, to know where she is. A child doesn't disappear, doesn't evaporate. A child is put somewhere and people know - and that information needs to be talked about."
Wilkinson met Anjum in 2003 while they were on the same college course at Oldham Business Management School and Atiya was born on November 7, 2006.
Gemma ended her on-off relationship with Anjum in 2008 due to him being possessive and controlling and he swore revenge on her. To this day, Anjum dismisses Wilkinson as being little more than his daughter's "birth mother."
During an access visit on the youngster's birthday he said he was taking Atiya to Southport. Anjum instead took Atiya to Lahore where he claimed she was staying for a week with relatives.
Atiya was supposed to share a flight with her grandmother on November 16, but the grandmother came back alone. Anjum himself returned to the UK a few days later without his daughter and he was subsequently arrested.
"It's been an absolute nightmare. When I close my eyes I see Atiya. I say good night to her every night before bed," Wilkinson says.
"I just want Atiya back home but her father's just not prepared to back down - he's not prepared to work with the police. He's enjoying playing his controlling mind games.
"It's just sick."
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Kidnapping, Pakistan, birth mother, imprisoned, bad dad
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