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MEP's frustration amid delight at Atiya's return

MEP Sajjad Karim said people need to think outside strict legal structures when dealing with similar cases to Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson's abduction in the future.

Personally, on the one hand I'm absolutely delighted (by Atiya's safe return). On the other hand there's frustration because honestly there's nothing I have done over the last four to five weeks that I couldn't have done three years ago. There is a fundamental need to review the protocols that we have in place in situations of this sort. We need to be thinking outside of strictly legal structures, we need to explore all the avenues available to us right at the outset to make sure this sort of situation doesn't happen again.

– Sajjad Karim, speaking to BBC News

'Review needed' over kidnap cases after Atiya ordeal

Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson vanished in November 2009 after going to stay with her father. Credit: PA Archive

The politician who helped reunite a mother with her six-year-old girl who was kidnapped by her father three years ago has said there is a "fundamental need" to review how similar cases are dealt with in the future.

MEP Sajjad Karim helped in the search for Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson, who vanished in November 2009, after learning of the situation around a month ago.

Mr Karim said he used his contacts with the Pakistani authorities to help secure Atiya's return yesterday, saying they gave their "absolute determination" to the case and used intelligence from local contacts to find Atiya within a matter of weeks.


Atiya's uncle 'went to collect her from Pakistan'

Atiya's mother has thanked the authorities in Pakistan after they reunited her with her daughter.

Gemma Wilkinson said that she understood that "it was Atiya's Uncle who flew out to collect her. I believe the house (where Atiya was found) was put under house arrest, but that is all that I know."

"My belief was never to give in, its just been a very long time and everything that has been given and every option that has been explored. We have tried so many different ways to get information on Atiya's location," she said.

"We are going to take every day as it comes. She will settle. She is going to find things strange but she is loved and we will take it day by day with the support that we can get from everybody."


Atiya 'has a big smile and is happy,' says mother

Gemma Wilkinson said that she was nervous that her daughter would not recognise her after they were separated for three years. It's emerged that she was only told yesterday that she would be reunited with her daughter.

"Atiya was told that I was Mummy and she said Mummy and smiled.

"I was worried that she would be upset or scared but she hasn't been.

"I don't know anything other than Atiya's back. I believe she is very happy to be back. She has a big smile, she is happy, she is playing nicely."

Mother: Atiya looks 'how I expected'

Gemma Wilkinson spoke to reporters after being reunited with her daughter this evening.

Gemma Wilkinson, the mother of six-year-old Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson, said that she is "absolutely overwhelmed" at being reunited with her daughter.

"I can't explain in words to describe what it's like to see her face, to see what she is like now - it's very emotional.

"She is how I expected, she looks exactly the same as she did three years ago, she is just a bit taller and a bit older," she said.

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