London: A British Muslim mother and her
four children kept captive by their relatives in Pakistan
-Occupied Kashmir for eight months have been freed, after she
wrote a "secret letter" to his brother in UK for help.
Farzana Ahmed, 32, from Stockton-on-Tees had travelled
to Pakistan after suffering difficulties in her marriage and
expected her husband to join her. But he failed to do so.
Instead, she was kept locked inside the home of her
husband`s family in the city of Mirpur with her children, aged
two, four, eight and 12, The Daily Telegraph reported.
She claimed she was told her children would be killed
if she tried to escape. Armed officers arrived at the house
with a court order yesterday demanding she be allowed to
return to Britain.
"After a month they started hitting me and swearing
and telling me they wouldn`t let me go home," Ahmed said.
"I`m safe now. I`m left with a real scared feeling.
I can`t walk past the window and I don`t want to let
go of my children."
Abdul Hamid, a senior officer in Mirpur, said the
woman had been treated like a "slave", doing menial household
"She was miserable. She was not allowed to leave the
house or do the normal activities, so she wrote a secret
letter to her brother in the UK for help," he said.
Armed officers arrived at the house with a court order
demanding she be allowed to return to Britain.
"Now she is free," Hamid. "She is feeling better and
is safe with we now just have to recover her documents and get
Pakistan has a huge problem with kidnappings.
Thousands of people are snatched every year for ransom by
criminal gangs. Others are held against their will when
arranged marriages break down.
Wealthy British Pakistanis, who hold dual nationality
and travel back and forth between the two countries are a
Mirpur is often known as "little Britain". Shops
advertise prices in sterling and Manchester accents are
A spokesman for the British High Commission in
Islamabad said consular staff were ready to help if needed.
"We are aware of the case and the local authorities
are assisting the family," he said.
Earlier this year a five-year-old British Boy, Sahil
Saeed, from Oldham, was held for two weeks until his family
raised a 110,000 pounds ransom.