Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 June 2019

British child raised in Pakistan jail returned to UK

The six-year-old's mother was jailed for drug smuggling in 2012

Khadija Shah was imprisoned in 2012. Reprieve
Khadija Shah was imprisoned in 2012. Reprieve

A six-year-old child born behind bars to a British woman in jail in Pakistan has been released and returned to the UK, but her mother remains imprisoned.

The child’s mother, Khadija Shah from Birmingham, England, was arrested at Islamabad airport in 2012 and jailed for life two years later for smuggling 63kg of heroin, worth more than £3 million (Dh14.5m), into the UK.

Shah, 32, was with her two older children, who were also detained for four-and-half months before being flown back to the UK to stay with their grandmother.

Shah’s family say she was tricked into carrying heroin by traffickers. She has narrowly avoided execution and continues to claim her innocence.

The British national gave birth to her third daughter Malaika in Pakistan’s notorious Adiala prison in Rawalpindi, where she is still being detained.

Britain's Foreign Office confirmed on Sunday that Malaika returned to the UK on January 31 with her grandmother, who had travelled to Pakistan to ensure her safety.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and British High Commission in Islamabad worked closely with Shah’s family, Pakistani authorities and human rights organisation Reprieve to ensure Malaika’s return.

“Our staff continue to assist a British woman jailed in Pakistan," the Foreign Office said. "We supported her family in bringing her daughter to the UK, working with them and the Pakistani authorities.”

Updated: March 4, 2019 11:06 AM