NICOLA Sturgeon has said the recent "unacceptable" treatment of a prominent activist trying to re-enter Scotland has shown that "things need to change" on the UK borders.

Mohammad 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 at Glasgow Airport.

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".

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.

Describing the incident in a post on Facebook, he said: "I feel sad and angry that all my contributions here are wasted and I feel as though I am being treated as a terrorist and perceived as a danger to society.

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"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 Asif during First Minister's Questions today, saying he felt "deeply humiliated and degraded".

The First Minister said 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.

"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.

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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.

"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.