NICOLA Sturgeon has slammed the treatment of a campaigner who said he was "racially profiled" at Glasgow Airport. 

The First Minister said the way Mohammad Asif was treated at the airport after returning from Pakistan was "unacceptable".

Mr Asif, who the First Minister described as her "dear friend", said he was "treated as a terrorist" and questioned for more than an hour by police.

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Mr Asif, who is chairman of the Afghan Human Rights Foundation, said he was asked about his views on the Taliban and whether he is a "strict Muslim" by police and the UK Border Force.

The campaigner adopted his nephew Sudais after he was badly injured in a gas blast in 2013, with the boy coming to be known as "Scotland's child".

Mr Asif said his children, including Sudais, were waiting outside as he was questioned on October 25 and were "shocked" when he told them what happened.

We told how Mr Asif said he had been held by police for "over an hour".

He told the Glasgow Times: “My children and wife tried to phone me while I was in but I didn’t answer. When I came out I told them I had been detained and they started crying and shaking.”

“They took my phone and looked through all my photographs and messages. I’m not saying I have anything to hide, but that is your private life.

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“They were racially profiling me.”

Mr Asif, who in 2000 fled the Taliban in Afghanistan seeking refuge in Glasgow, was reportedly asked what his knowledge of the terrorist organisation was by the officers.

He said: “They asked me if I knew whether the Taliban were in Pakistan. I said, you’d have to ask the Pakistani government.

In a Facebook post after the incident, he wrote: "I personally do not blame the officers, they were there doing their jobs, but at least they should know who is a terrorist and who is not after living here for more than 20 years.

"It is the UK regime which is Islamophobic and racist from top to bottom."

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill asked about Mr Asif during First Minister's Questions on Thursday, saying he felt "deeply humiliated and degraded".

The First Minister said Mr Asif is "a very dear friend of mine" and "a fine, upstanding member of the Scottish community".

She continued: "I've not had the chance to speak to him this week but I've read reports of what he experienced and I think it is unacceptable and I do think things need to change.

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"Let me also say that people who work for Border Force and immigration authorities do a tough job and we should recognise that too.

"But there are many people, many of my constituents in the south side of Glasgow, who travel backwards and forwards to countries like Pakistan who feel that they are not treated fairly in that process.

"We have to find the right balance between protecting the country and recognising that people like Mohammad Asif should not be treated in that way."

She said border control is a reserved matter and the Scottish Government will continue to raise the issue with the UK Government where appropriate.

Detective Superintendent Ian Gardner, head of Police Scotland's border policing command, said: "Police Scotland works closely with our colleagues and partners to keep the people of Scotland, and the millions of people travelling to and from our country, safe.

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"Border policing command deploys dedicated resources at airports and sea ports and is primarily engaged in countering the terrorist threat, helping maintain national security and tackling serious and organised crime.

"This effort requires the support of the public along with internal and external partners to ensure Scotland is a safe place to live in and travel to and from."

The Home Office said it does not routinely comment on Border Force cases.