Joan McAlpine, MSP for South of Scotland, has commented following the death of Khalil Dale, the abducted aid worker whose body has been found in Pakistan.
Mr Dale, 60, who worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was kidnapped in Quetta, south-west Pakistan. The body of the Muslim convert was found in an orchard in Quetta with a note saying he had been killed by the Taliban.
Ms McAlpine said:
“I spoke to friends of Khalil in Dumfries on Sunday morning. They were extremely upset, at his loss, the brutal way he was killed and the torment he must have endured at the end.
“Khalil was born in Dumfries. Lots of people will remember him for his work in the A&E department at DGRI and also his photographs, he was an immensely talented photographer, who studied at D&G College. Those who knew him say he was a deeply compassionate person who saved thousands of lives in his long career as an aid worker. He was clearly a very courageous man who had run field hospitals in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan.
“That such a man should be killed without mercy like this is despicable, and a terrible waste of a precious life. My heartfelt condolences go out to his fiancé Anne, who is herself a nurse, his brother Ian, and his many grieving friends.
“I understand that Mr Dale was reported to be killed by local gangsters. His body was found with a note saying he was killed because a ransom was not paid by his employers, the ICRC.
“His kidnappers were vicious criminals motivated by greed. Khalil was a long time convert to Islam and his friends are anxious that his death is not used to whip up hatred against his faith, which is a religion of peace.”