Malik Iqbal assassinated before he could give evidence in Pakistan

British man shot dead in Pakistan as he prepared to give evidence

Questions raised over security after Malik Iqbal is killed by masked men in Rawalpindi

guardian.co.uk, Saturday 29 September 2012 15.36 BST
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/29/british-man-shot-pakistan-evidence

Malik Iqbal, from Bradford, who was kidnapped and held for almost a month in Pakistan last year.

Questions have been raised as to how a British father of four was shot dead in Pakistan as he prepared to give evidence against men accused of kidnapping him.

Malik Iqbal, 55, was murdered on Friday when three masked men called him to the door of the house where he was staying in Rawalpindi.

His friend Riaz Ahmed, a former Bradford city councillor, described him as “a determined and brave man”, and questioned why the Pakistani authorities had not provided better security for him.

Ahmed said: “Everyone is shell-shocked by it. It was something Mr Iqbal was afraid of and I think the authorities in Pakistan have let down everybody.

“There should have been some kind of security for him.”

Iqbal, who leaves a wife and four young daughters at his home in Bradford, West Yorkshire, was kidnapped last year and freed after almost a month when his family paid a £15,000 ransom.

He was chained to a bed and blindfolded for 20 days during his ordeal and survived on occasional tea and biscuits.

He had returned to Pakistan to give evidence in the kidnapping trial.

Ahmed said Iqbal had been determined to go back to see justice done, despite the dangers.

He added: “He was a determined and brave man. He was very, very determined to go through with this.

“It was very important to him that this would not happen to anyone else. It is testament to his courage. It is such a tragic, tragic case.”

Ahmed said his friend’s death was terrible for Igbal’s widow, Rukhasana, and their daughters.

He said Iqbal had flown back to Pakistan in August and he was not sure what stage the trial had reached.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm the death of a British national in Pakistan. We are providing consular assistance.”

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