Mourning our tragic loss in Pakistan

Pakistan, June 15, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps  </span>
    Photo: Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps

We are deeply saddened by information we've received indicating the killing of one of our four abducted team members in Pakistan by his captors. Our colleague Habibullah was killed earlier this month after being abducted nearly four months ago. His family was informed of his death on Sunday.

Habibullah, age 52, was a driver for Mercy Corps. He was also a dedicated husband and father of nine children. Habibullah and three colleagues were abducted on February 18 when their vehicle was intercepted en route to our Quetta office. Our abducted colleagues are all Pakistani nationals who were working to improve the quality of child and maternal health in Balochistan.

It is shocking and tragic that Habibullah — someone dedicated to improving the lives of Pakistanis — should be the target of such senseless violence. We deeply mourn his loss.

Unfortunately, this incident has caused us to suspend our operations in Pakistan. This is obviously a difficult action to take. The humanitarian imperative in Pakistan remains as pressing as ever, but our number one priority must be to ensure the security of our team.

We hope that you will join us in keeping Habibullah’s family and friends, and our Pakistan team, in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.