PESHAWAR - Adviser to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Minority Affairs Dr Sardar Suran Singh MPA was gunned down by Taliban gunmen in Buner yesterday evening.

Police said MPA Suran Singh was on his way home after attending a function when the armed assailants on a bike attacked him with a volley of bullets on his head and neck, killing him on the spot.

Sardar Suran Singh was shot dead in the Pir Baba area of Buner, a district police officer said. The car of Sardar Suran Singh was ambushed by the assailants on the main road near the Pir Baba shrine. His body was shifted to the district headquarters hospital for postmortem.

The incident was confirmed by KP Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani. “Suran Singh was shot in the head and eye,” Pir Baba SHO Mir Ghazab told media persons. He was shifted to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Singh was coming from Peshawar to his native village in the Buner valley when he was attacked by the gunmen, local police officer, Shaukat Khan, said.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Mohammad Khurasani said the Taliban carried out the killing, and would continue attacks until their version of strict Islamic law was established in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, PTI has condemned the killing, saying Islam and the country’s constitution provides for the protection of minorities.

“The brutal killing of Suran Singh is extremely saddening,” Imran Khan said in a statement, adding he was a patriotic Pakistani and a loyal party worker.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for his killing, but Taliban militants regularly attack security forces and civilians in the province.

Discrimination and violence against minorities is commonplace in Pakistan where Muslims account for more than 90 percent of the population.

Sikhs are 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. Three years ago, another PTI provincial lawmaker, Fareed Khan, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Hangu.

The sudden death of Sardar Surang Singh spread a wave of fear and uncertainty in the area as Buner was comparatively peaceful after the completion of the military operation in 2009-10.

Surang Singh was an outspoken MPA of PTI and resolved most of the issues of minorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He had a simple and humble character and treated everyone politely.

Before joining Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in 2011, he remained affiliated with Jamaat-e-Islami for nine years. He was also part of a Pashto channel, Khyber News, as a special correspondent. He also served the people at his herbal medicine clinic and was known as Dr Suran Singh.