A Pakistani-origin Iranian Consulate official was shot dead by unidentified gunmen within the army cantonment in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Thursday, police and witnesses said.
Syed Abul Hassan Jaffri, spokesman for the Iranian consulate in the capital of the North West Frontier Province, was attacked by two gunmen when he emerged from his home in Gulberg Colony on Thursday morning.
Jaffri was taken to a nearby hospital in a critical condition but succumbed to his injuries. No grouphas claimed responsibility for the attack. Witnesses said the two gunmen who attacked Jaffri fled on a motorcycle.
Jaffri had worked as a reporter for Pakistani dailies like the Frontier Post and The Statesman in the early 1990s. On November 13 last year, unidentified gunmen had abducted the commercial attach of the Iranian consulate in Peshawar and his driver after killing his bodyguard. Both of them are yet to be traced.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the killing of the Iranian official and described it as an attempt to damage Pakistan-Iran relations.
In separate messages, they deplored the killing of Jaffri and directed authorities to investigate the matter and apprehend the killers.
The two leaders said relations between Pakistan and Iran were "very strong and deep rooted and could not be impacted by such acts".