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Militants gun down Pak provincial minister's son

world Updated: Jul 25, 2010 13:31 IST

The son of a provincial minister, who had received threats from the Taliban, has been gunned down by militants at Nowshera in northwestern Pakistan, police said.

Mian Rashid Hussain, the only son of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa's Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, was attacked by militants while he was out for a walk in Pabbi, the main city in Nowshera district. He was killed instantly.

Rashid Hussain's cousin Amjad, who was seriously injured, was taken to a hospital in Peshawar.

The attackers fled from the scene. Police surrounded the area and launched a search for the killers.

Information Minister Hussain, who is a vocal critic of the Taliban, had received several threats from militants.

The minister had often spoken out against the Taliban and their attacks on innocent people.

Rashid Hussain, 27, had no links to politics. He worked for a government body in Peshawar.

The Awami National Party has been at the forefront of the campaign against the Taliban in northwest Pakistan. Over the past two years, militants have killed dozens of party workers and at least two ANP legislators.

Senior leaders of the Awami National Party, which rules Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, and other parties condemned the attack. ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan said such incidents would not change the provincial government's drive against militancy.

He said ANP leaders will continue to make sacrifices to maintain peace and would not back-track from the policy adopted for curbing militancy and terrorism.

"We are willing to make more such sacrifices but will not bow before the terrorists," he said.

Provincial Senior Minister Bashir Bilour said ANP leaders and their families were still receiving threats from militants.

Shortly before the killing of the minister's son, Interior Minister Rehman Malik told a news conference in Karachi that there were reports that militants could target senior political figures and their relatives.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani too condemned the killing and said the killers would be brought to justice.

Gilani directed the provincial government and the law enforcing agencies to apprehend the killers so that they could be given exemplary punishment.