Humma Dar disappeared from her London home with daughter Aamina in August 2011 after her marriage came to an end. The pair are now thought to be in Pakistan.
Custody of her daughter had previously been awarded to father Safraz Khan, The Guardian reports.
At a high court hearing, deputy high court judge Clive Heaton gave permission to for Aamina to be named in media reports, describing the case as an “extraordinarily serious matter”.
The judge said it was impossible not to feel sympathy for “distressed and frustrated” Khan, 44, who is also a doctor.
“The abduction of children is a very serious matter and the courts should and do pursue, locate and return such children to their rightful carers. The message must go out to those who abduct children that the courts will not give up after a few months or years just because no progress seems to have been made.”
The judge insisted:
“This is not the end of the story so far as attempts to locate Aamina are concerned.”
He urged Mr Khan, who became emotional during the hearing, not to give up.
“I urge the father to continue to pursue all proper steps open to him to locate his daughter. Where the court can properly assist him in the search it will certainly do so.”
Aamina will be eight in July.
Photo by Temari 09 via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence