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Pakistani Taliban kill provincial minister

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Sardar Soran Singh, the slain minister of minorities of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province

Pro-Taliban militants in Pakistan have killed a provincial minister in the country’s restive northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The victim, Minister of Minorities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Soran Singh, was killed by bike-riding militants in his native village in the Buner Valley, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) northeast of the provincial capital Peshawar, on Friday.

A spokesman for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan said the group claims responsibility for the assault.

Imran Khan, the chairman of Pakistan-Tehreek Insaf (PTI), which rules the province, condemned the murder of Singh, who was also a prominent Sikh figure, and urged an inquiry.

“The brutal killing of Soran Singh is extremely saddening,” Khan said in a statement. “KP (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) govt must immed set up inquiry. A great loss for all of us,” he separately tweeted.

In 2011, Christian politician and Pakistani Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was shot dead in the capital Islamabad by Taliban gunmen after receiving several death threats from different militant organizations. He used to be an outspoken opponent of Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law, which was imposed in 1986 by former military dictator General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq.

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