Pakistan court delays return of girl to Scottish mother

A court in Pakistan decided on Monday to delay implementation of an earlier ruling that ordered a 12-year-old Scottish girl at the center of a custody battle be returned to her Scottish mother, lawyers for the girl's estranged parents said.

Two High Court judges in the eastern city of Lahore ruled that Molly Campbell, also known as Misbah Iram Ahmed Rana, should not be taken out of Pakistan until Dec. 8, said Abdul Basit, a lawyer for the girl's Pakistani father.

Naheeda Mahboob Elahi, a lawyer for the girl's mother, confirmed the court's decision.

Last week, another judge at the Lahore High Court ordered Molly be handed over to British authorities within a week so she could be returned to her mother in Scotland.

Molly's father, Sajad Ahmed Rana, appealed the ruling over the weekend.

Her mother, Louise Campbell, had lodged a petition seeking custody of her daughter. She says a Scottish court awarded her custody in 2005.

In Monday's ruling, the judges said the girl cannot leave until a decision is made about whether Rana's appeal should be sent to Pakistan's Supreme Court or handled in an Islamic court, Basit said.

The case is set to be heard on Dec. 8.

The case has drawn international attention since August, when Molly arrived in Lahore to live with her father and three siblings, reports AP.

Her mother says Molly was taken against her will by her father and her older sister, but the girl has publicly said she wants to live in Pakistan.

Molly's parents married in a Muslim ceremony in Glasgow in 1984 and have two sons and two daughters. The couple divorced in 2001 and Molly's three siblings live with Rana in Pakistan.

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