Clitheroe chef’s custody battle to bring brother back to UK

The Khan family
The Khan family

A CLITHEROE chef has almost won custody of his brother, after the rest of his family were killed in a car crash in Pakistan.

But now Abid Ali, who works at Romero in Wellgate, is facing an appeal launched by distant relatives in Pakistan, who want to keep Clitheroe boy Qasim Mohammed Akbar (7) away from Abid.

As reported previously in The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times, Clitheroe man Ali Akbar Khan (59) was driving when the family’s car ploughed into a parked truck near Faisalabad. Travelling with Mr Khan, who worked at Castle Cement for 30 years, were his wife, Riffit Rukhsana, daughters Aisha (eight), two-year-old Hajira and his son, Qasim, a former pupil of Brookside Primary School.

Qasim is the sole survivor of the accident, which happened just into the New Year. Mr Khan’s son from his first marriage, Abid Ali, immediately flew out to Pakistan on hearing the devastating news and has remained in the country since fighting to bring Qasim home. Although the father-of-four thought he had won, a judge has now made an order forbidding Abid from taking Qasim out of Pakistan.

Speaking about the family’s ordeal, Clitheroe resident and family friend Asif Din said: “We are all worried for the safety of Qasim and Abid. Qasim has lost his parents and his sisters and needs some stability and normality in his life.

“He was born in England and attended school here so he should return to this country. The relatives in Pakistan don’t understand that Qasim has already been through enough.

“Although Abid won the custody battle, the family launched an appeal against the decision and, therefore, Abid is not allowed to fly back to England with Qasim.

“He has to wait until another decision is made. All this is taking a lot of time and we have not received a lot of help from the British Government.”

Abid has been in contact with the British Embassy in Pakistan and the Foreign Office in London to try to help him fight the new case.