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Tributes Paid To Malik Iqbal, Man Murdered Before He Could Give Evidence At Kidnapping Trial

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Iqbal was killed in Pakistan before he could give evidence at trial | flickr: Tony Webster

A British father-of-four who was shot dead in Pakistan as he prepared to give evidence against men accused of kidnapping him was "a determined and brave man", his friend said on Saturday.

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.

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.

His friend Riaz Ahmed - a former Bradford city councillor - said Iqbal had been determined to go back to see justice done, despite the dangers.

Mr Ahmed said: "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."

Mr Ahmed said there were important questions to be asked about the amount of protection his friend was given.

"It is such a tragic, tragic case," he 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."

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

He said Mr 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."