Prominent Sikh figure killed in Pakistan | Reuters

PESHAWAR, Pakistan Armed men opened fire and killed a prominent Sikh figure and opposition party worker in Pakistan's northwest on Friday, authorities said, the latest attack on a religious minority in the majority-Muslim nation.

Soran Singh was a leading figure in Pakistan's tiny Sikh community and an adviser to a provincial chief minister, representing cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party.

Singh had come from Peshawar to his native village in the Buner valley when he was attacked by gunmen, local police officer Shaukat Khan said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility by any group.

The PTI condemned the killing, saying that Islam's laws and the Pakistani constitution provided for the protection of religious minorities.

"The brutal killing of Soran Singh is extremely saddening," a PTI statement attributed to Khan said, describing Singh as a patriotic Pakistani and a loyal party worker.

Sikhs make up less than 1 percent of Pakistan's 190 million people but many of them see Pakistan as the place where their religion began.

According to police, at least eight Sikhs have been killed in the northwest in 2013 and 2014 - the first recorded sectarian killings of Sikhs in Pakistani history.

(Additional reporting by Asad Hashim in Islamabad, Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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Updated Date: Apr 22, 2016 22:26:26 IST

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