pakistan police
pakistan policeReuters

A prominent Sikh leader and member of the provincial assembly in Pakistan's restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province was allegedly shot dead by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) gunmen near his house on Friday. Sardar Soran Singh, who belonged to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party, was special assistant on minority affairs to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Parvez Khattak.

Singh was shifted to the hospital after the targeted attack on him. However, he was declared dead on arrival.

"Gunmen riding on two motorbikes came in front of the car and started indiscriminate firing which killed the minister on the spot," Khalid Hamadani, the district police chief, told AFP.

"Soran Singh was shot in the head and eye," Pir Baba SHO Mir Ghazab told the Dawn.

The TTP attack was condemned by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, special assistant, higher education and information, Mushtaq Ghani, and provincial minister Shahram Tarakai, all of whom have promised to seek justice for Singh.

Singh, who joined PTI in 2011, was a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan. He was also a TV anchor, who hosted a show for Khyber News, and a doctor. Also, he was a member of the Tehsil council, the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and the Evacuee Trust Property Board, the Indian Express reported.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lies in north-west Pakistan and has been mired in unrest for years. The Swat valley in the region, where Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousufzai grew up and was shot at, used to be a Taliban-controlled area. Earlier this month, a suicide blast at an excise office in the province's Mardan city injured 10 people. In another incident this month, seven policemen in Abbottabad were killed while trying to protect vaccination workers.