Missing eight-year-old Pakistani girl found in RAK

Missing eight-year-old Pakistani girl found in RAK
Khadija Bilal

Ras Al Khaimah - The eight-year-old girl, Khadija Mohammed Asmatullah Bilal, had been missing for over 48 hours.



A missing Pakistani girl has been found by the Ras Al Khaimah police after a virtual furore on social media. This is the second such case in three days: On Sunday, social media was abuzz after British teacher Kirsty McLaughlin went missing. The eight-year-old girl, Khadija Mohammed Asmatullah Bilal, had been missing for over 48 hours, according to an RAK police appeal posted on its official Twitter account late on Tuesday. The police said the girl is safe and sound. Police sources said they would give details on her recovery today. Captain Khalid Al Naqbi, head of media affairs at the RAK police, earlier in the day denied rumours the girl had been found dead.
Also read: Social media: A new tool to find the missing
The child's 35-year-old father, Mohammed Asmatullah Bilal, told Khaleej Times his daughter is mentally sound and did not suffer from any illness. "The problem is that she always wanted to travel home, and did not want to stay with us here." Surprisingly, the father said that the girl is not his biological daughter. "I officially adopted her back in our hometown in Lahore, Pakistan, in agreement with her biological father and mother who are not divorced but separated." Bilal added that he paid her mother not for the adoption but as assistance for her husband, the father of the girl, who was not in good health.
"I treated Khadija equally like my six-year-old daughter and three-year-old boy. I basically brought her to play with my little daughter, take care of her, and be a close friend because I am busy at work most of the day and my wife, 27, is also working at a beauty salon here."
Bilal, a recovery driver, has been living with his family here in the UAE for nine years.
He said that Khadija, who is under his sponsorship, had taken her passport from a bag in his car in which he kept all of the family members' passports. "The RAK police had issued a circular to ban her from flying with anyone."
The father said he was afraid that the missing girl might have sought help from a stranger, and got assaulted or kidnapped. "I have no problem with anyone, but you know she is still young and cannot manage her own affairs."
Bilal had last seen Khadija "wearing a Pakistani red and black dress with a hijab on her head."
ahmedshaaban@khaleejtimes.com


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