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Call to couple with missing baby to return to Harrow
The leader of Harrow Borough Council has called for parents of a baby girl who have gone missing to return home.
Today a High Court Judge agreed to lift restrictions on revealing the identity of four-month-old baby Farah Afzal, who was last seen at her Harrow home over a month ago.
It is believed her parents Mohammed Afzal, 38, and Zainab Rasul, 30, from Harrow, fled the country to Barcelona, Spain.
Harrow Council leader Cllr Susan Hall said: “What is important here is the safety of this child. The important thing is for the family to return to the UK so we can plan the best way ahead together.
"I appeal to Mohammed and Zainab to do what is best for their daughter and contact us so we can talk this through.
"The court is very concerned about the abduction of Farah during the proceedings. The proceedings were taken because of her parents' abuse of illegal drugs and their dependency on them.
"The documentary evidence filed raises real concerns about the ability of the parents to care for the baby safely."
Social workers for the council believe the child could be at risk due to concerns about "long-standing drug abuse" by Farah's parents.
Speaking before Barcelona's Champion's League match with Manchester City, Cllr Hall also appealed to fans of the Spanish football team to help track down the couple.
She said: “There are tens of thousands of Barcelona fans in the UK tonight for the big game.
“My appeal is to those fans to keep their eyes open for baby Farah and her parents when they go home."
According to the court, the child had been permitted to live with her mother at the home of grandparents while proceedings continued.
Farah’s grandmother alerted social workers that the child and mother were missing on January 16.
Since then alerts have been in place with Interpol and a joint child protection and police investigation has been underway.