The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has asked Pakistani media not the broadcast a video that purports to show the beheading of British aid worker Khalil Dale.
Kidnapped in January, Dale’s body was found over the weekend in the city of Quetta, near the Afghan border. His kidnappers and killers have threatened to release a video they took of Dale’s decapitation.
The ICRC condemns in the strongest possible terms this barbaric act, said Director-General Yves Daccord in a statement.
“All of us at the ICRC and at the British Red Cross share the grief and outrage of Khalil’s family and friends.
Dale, 60, had been working as a health-program manager in Quetta for almost a year. Prior to that me he served the ICRC and the British Red Cross for many years, including assignments in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The killers left a note saying that Dale paid with his life because the ICRC failed to pay a ransom (ICRC’s policy bans making such payments).
ICRC's spokesman, Sean Maguire told BBC TV: “we had some contact with the abductors but we wouldn't want to give succor to future kidnappers by saying we countenanced paying a ransom.”
Maguire added: We did everything possible to try to get Khalil out and we are very sad that our efforts failed. We put every effort that we could into liberating him and it is deeply, deeply unfortunate that we did not manage to free him. His death, to our mind, is senseless and barbaric.
Born in Scotland, Dale was a Muslim convert.
The British Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Minister William Hague and Scotland First minster Alex Salmond all condemned the brutal murder.
Khalil Dale has dedicated many years of his life to helping some of the most vulnerable people in the world and my thoughts today are with his friends and family, Cameron said.
The identity of Dale’s kidnappers is unknown, although the area around Quetta is rife with both Taliban activity and Baluchi separatist activity.
Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan's high commissioner to the UK, explained how difficult it is to find the killers.
We are investigating because these things happen in that area. We are trying to find out who they actually are, whether they are Pakistani Taliban or Afghani Taliban. They could be anybody because the game has become so murky in that area, Hasan said.
The horrific killing may compel the ICRC to reconsider operating in some parts of Pakistan. The organization has been active in the country from its very birth in 1947.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.