Gunmen shot dead a senior official of the Geological Survey of Pakistan on Wednesday in an apparent sectarian attack in the troubled southwestern province of Baluchistan, police said.
Mohsin Ali Naqvi, a member of the minority Shiite community, was gunned down outside his office in Quetta, the Baluchistan capital, Mohammed Ayaz, a senior police official, told AFP.
The province, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, is plagued by sectarian violence between Shiites and majority Sunnis, as well as Taliban attacks and a separatist insurgency.
"We are investigating the crime but it seems a case of sectarian killing. There is a wave of sectarian killing in the country and this is part of that," Ayaz said.
Another official who is in charge of the local police station said the gunmen were waiting for Naqvi, a deputy director of the Survey, at the main gate of his office.
"Two gunmen were waiting for him at the main gate of his office. They fired bullets at him from close range and escaped," said Noor Bukhsh. "His family said they had no feud with anybody and Naqvi was killed because he was Shiite."
Sectarian violence involving Sunni and Shiite Muslims, who account for around 20 percent of the 167 million population, has killed more than 4,000 people since the late 1990s.
Last month a Shiite judge was shot dead in Quetta along with his driver and police bodyguard.
Despite having large reserves of oil and gas, Baluchistan remains one of Pakistan's most impoverished provinces, and bomb blasts and attacks on police and security forces are common.
In 2004 Baluch rebels rose up, demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region's mineral resources.