Reuters International

By Jibran Ahmed

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani Taliban gunmen shot dead a prominent Sikh figure and opposition party worker on Friday, authorities and the militants said, in 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 was attacked by gunmen in his native village in the Buner valley in northwest Pakistan, 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.

The PTI said Islam's laws and the Pakistani constitution provided for the protection of religious minorities.

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

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

(Additional reporting by Asad Hashim in Islamabad; Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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