Misbah case: the mother should let her go

Comment is free: If you love somebody …

Yvonne Roberts argues that the best thing for Misbah Rana’s mother to do if she actually cares for her daughter is to let her go:

Whatever the reasons for Misbah wishing to stay - and, contrary to some prejudices, an affluent life in relatively liberal Lahore may have more plusses than living with an allegedly prickly step-father in Stornaway - Misbah’s mother, Louise Campbell, has the law on her side.

What she doesn’t have - is the right to ignore her daughter’s wishes and impose a “solution” that, in the long term, may make her relationship with Misbah all the more fraught. Far more sensible to let the situation remain as it is for now - given time, Misbah may or may not decide that Scotland is preferable to Pakistan.

Misbah is not her mother’s possession. Her wellbeing is not at issue. She appears well cared for in Pakistan and, in Lahore, she will also have educational choices as open and arguably as good (if not better) than that available to her in Scotland. (And yes I have been to Lahore, and, years ago, did go to school in Pakistan). However difficult, what her mother might be wise to do for now - is to let go.

On the subject of education, the school Misbah attended in Stornoway has been the subject of two separate bullying controversies, one which led to a suicide in 1996 and another which led to a student having to leave Lewis due to racist bullying. This is the institution Misbah is likely to be sent back to if she is returned, against her will, to Scotland.

Significantly, Mrs Campbell does not even bother to call Misbah by her real name! I heard the stupid woman interviewed last night and she still persists in calling her daughter “Molly”. She clearly has no respect for her daughter and is behaving like a vengeful, spoiled brat and exploiting public sentiment in the UK. The fact is that if the Pakistani authorities had any backbone, the idea of sending Misbah back to a remote part of the UK to live with an apostate mother and her non-Muslim husband would not be entertained even for a moment.

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