Police have found the car purportedly belonging to a missing woman and her four young children who had returned to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia. Her husband works in Saudi Arabia and the family had come to Pakistan just a few weeks before they went missing on January 18 from Sarai Alamgir in Gujrat.
The woman’s car was found in the parking lot of a private housing society, but police are uncertain at this time if the family had been held at the housing complex.
Saira Sajjad, and her four children – two boys aged 14 and six years old and two girls aged 13 and nine years old – went missing on their way home from a shopping trip in Farooq Town.
When her husband says he stopped hearing from his wife, he flew from from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan to reported his family missing. He had expected his family to return to Saudi Arabia on January 22.
The names of the children gone missing are sons Ibrahim (aged 14) and Irham (6); and daughters Warda Sajjad (13) and Nirmeen Sajjad (9).
According to Roshni Helpline 1138, an estimated 3,000 children are kidnapped in Pakistan each year, with experts claiming that some are sold to childless families, put on the streets to beg, or trafficked into sexual slavery, sometimes internationally to the Gulf countries or China.
Pakistani NGO White Ribbon reported more than 5,500 kidnappings of women between 2004 and 2016. Additionally, one out of every five women in Pakistan has reportedly faced domestic violence.