In a statement they have also praised the Red Cross for their work around the clock to try to secure the release of the 60-year-old humanitarian aid worker and for keeping the family informed of the captors’ demands.
Khalil was found at the weekend in an orchard in Quetta, Pakistan, where he had been working for the International Committee for the Red Cross. He was kidnapped at gunpoint in January.
His family issued a statement yesterday which said: “As Khalil’s next of kin we wish to reaffirm our request for time and space to grieve the loss of a beloved partner, brother and best friend.
“We have found comfort – in a time of great trauma – in the flood of tributes we have seen from around the world.
“Knowing that our Khalil touched the lives of so many people means so much to us. We wish also to affirm our faith in all those who worked around the clock to secure the release of Khalil.
“We were made fully aware of the demands of his captors and have been kept informed throughout.
“The lasting memory of Khalil should not be his death, but his life. He was a man who lived life to the full, and lived it in the service of others.”
Khalil was born in York close to York Minster and moved to Manchester and then Dumfries, Scotland. Earlier this week, the Yorkshire Post carried an interview with his half-brother Peter Dale, who lives in Bramham, Leeds, who paid tribute to his brother’s courage and said he had died “doing a job he loved.”