Political activist shot dead in Pakistan

Indo Asian News Service

Islamabad, March 4 (IANS) Gunmen shot dead a local leader of the ruling coalition in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on Saturday, police said.

Muhammad Jan Gigyani, a lawyer and leader of the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), was attacked in Charsadda district when he was heading to the court in his car, a police officer said. The QWP is part of the ruling coalition in the province.

Gigyani and his nephew received bullet injuries and were shifted to hospital in Peshawar, the provincial capital. Gigyani later died of wounds while his nephew was receiving treatment.

The gunmen, riding on a motorcycle, fled after the shooting, eyewitnesses said.

The Pakistan branch of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar group claimed the attack in a statement sent to the local media. The group is blamed for attacks on the officials of the law enforcement agencies, political leaders and government officers.

Lawyers protested against the murder of their colleagues and demanded that the government arrest the culprits.

The police conducted a search operation in the area but no one has been arrested so far.

Security officials believe the militants have adopted a policy of target attacks after they were expelled from their previous strongholds in the tribal regions.

--IANS

ahm/bg