In Sunday’s fp story Booman revealed some depressing news items around the world. One link was the beheading of Dr. Khalil Dale in Quetta, Pakistan. I believe the underlying circumstances and facts on the ground in the AfPak region need to be told.
QUETTA, Pakistan (Express Tribune) – The decapitated body of a kidnapped British doctor working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was found by the roadside on Sunday in Quetta, police and Red Cross officials said.
Sixty-year-old Dr Khalil Rasjed Dale, a Yemen-born British national, was kidnapped on January 5 by armed men near his office in the Chaman Housing Scheme — a high-security zone where offices of all international organisations are located.
According to Superintendent Police Malik Arshid, police found Dale wrapped in plastic near the Killi Umar area on the Airport Road. It was then shifted to the Sandeman Provincial Hospital for autopsy.
“A sharp knife was used to sever his head from the body,” said Safdar Hussain, the first doctor to examine the body. “He was killed about 12 hours ago.”
The police also found a note by the kidnappers with the body stating that they killed the ICRC official because the organisation did not fulfill their demands despite repeated warnings. The ICRC, however, did not confirm if they had been approached for ransom money.
More below the fold, tributes to Dale and what OBL documents reveal …
LONDON (Guardian) – Tributes have been paid to a British aid worker whose body was found dumped in an orchard in Pakistan.
Khalil Dale was abducted at gunpoint in January while working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Baluchistan province. His kidnappers left a note on his body saying he had been killed because they had not received a ransom.
The 60-year-old Scot from Dumfries had been awarded the MBE for his humanitarian work overseas. Dale, who changed his name from Ken when he became a Muslim, was engaged to be married and had been living in Pakistan for nearly a year.
“Khalil Dale has been a committed member of the Red Cross Red Crescent family for the last 30 years. He was a gentle, kind person who devoted his life to helping others, including some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
“We condemn his abduction and murder in the strongest possible terms. It not only robs him of his life, and his family and co-workers of their loved one and friend – it robs the people he was helping of the expert care they need.”
The identities of his captors are unknown, but the Quetta region is home to separatist and Islamist militants who have kidnapped for ransom before.
In 2009, an American working for the United Nations refugee agency in the city was kidnapped from the same district as the British aid worker. John Solecki was held for two months by the separatist Baluchistan Liberation United Front before he was released.
The 15 Pakistani officers from the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary were killed in retaliation for an army operation in northwest Pakistan that killed several militants, including a prominent commander, according to a statement from the Pakistani Taliban.
ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan (Guardian) – Documents found in the house where Osama bin Laden was killed a year ago show a close working relationship between top al-Qaida leaders and Mullah Omar, the overall commander of the Taliban, including frequent discussions of joint operations against Nato forces in Afghanistan, the Afghan government and targets in Pakistan.
The communications show a three-way conversation between Bin Laden, his then deputy Ayman Zawahiri and Omar, who is believed to have been in Pakistan since fleeing Afghanistan after the collapse of his regime in 2001.
They indicate a “very considerable degree of ideological convergence”, a Washington-based source familiar with the documents told the Guardian.
The news will undermine hopes of a negotiated peace in Afghanistan, where the key debate among analysts and policymakers is whether the Taliban – seen by many as following an Afghan nationalist agenda – might once again offer a safe haven to al-Qaida or like-minded militants, or whether they can be persuaded to renounce terrorism.
One possibility, experts say, is that although Omar built a strong relationship with Bin Laden and Zawahiri, other senior Taliban commanders see close alliance or co-operation with al-Qaida as deeply problematic.
Evidence we have published that Mullah Omar shared, and presumably continues to share, a close working relationship with top al-Qaida leaders makes depressing reading for those who place their hope in a negotiated peace in Afghanistan.
- Pakistan condemns US strike after drone ban
- US offers ‘safe passage’ to Afghan Taliban leaders
- High-profile assassination: Turban bomber kills Afghanistan’s top peacemaker