Unidentified gunmen on Saturday killed a prominent attorney in an apparent targeted shooting in Shabqadar, near the Afghanistan border.
Khalid Khan, a police officer in Shabqadar, said that two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fired on Mohammed Jan Gigyani while he was driving his car on Saturday. Khan said Gigyani was critically wounded and died en route to a hospital.
Khan said Gigyani was a prominent lawyer affiliated with the secular Qaumi Watan Party (QWP).
QWP’s provincial chairman, Sikandar Hayat Sherpao, told DawnNews that Gigyani was a provincial counsel member for QWP.
“He was an asset to the party and the attack feels like an attack targeted towards QWP,” he said.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), the banned militant group responsible for many of the recent militant attacks in Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the killing.
Shabqadar, where the lawyer was gunned down, is located near Mohmand Agency and falls in district Charsadda, where suicide bombers killed at least seven people near a court complex on Feb 21 in an attack claimed by JuA.
On Feb 15, the group had also carried out a suicide attack on the headquarters of the Mohmand Agency’s political administration, killing three law enforcement personnel and two civilians.
The most devastating suicide attack carried out by the group was on Feb 13 at Charing Cross on Lahore’s busy Mall Road. The bombing, which targetted police officials present at the site of a protest, left 13 dead and 85 injured.
Pakistani officials say JuA has been planning attacks and operating from Afghanistan.
The Foreign Office had summoned the Afghan deputy head of mission and asked Kabul to address Pakistan’s concerns about terrorist sanctuaries there after the Lahore suicide attack.
The Pakistan Army had also handed over a list of 76 ‘most wanted’ terrorists to Kabul following the bombing.
“The Afghan authorities have been given a list of 76 terrorists who are hiding across since long and planning/directing/supporting terrorist activities in Pakistan. The Afghan government has been asked to target them/hand them over to Pakistan,” the army’s media wing had said.
The Army also targeted a training camp operated by JuA along the Pak-Afghan border on Feb 17, reportedly killing a JuA deputy commander stationed there.