A former deputy inspector general of police was gunned down by unidentified assailants in Quetta on Saturday evening, police said.
Muhammad Naeem Kakar was walking after offering prayers at a mosque when unknown attackers opened fire on him in Junior Assistant Colony area, DIG Quetta Abdul Razzaq Cheema told DawnNewsTV.
Kakar was critically injured in the firing and breathed his last at the Combined Military Hospital.
Cheema said the assailants escaped unhurt from the site.
Police and personnel of other law enforcement agencies were quick at the spot. An investigation has been ordered into the incident.
"At this point of time, I cannot say whether it was a targeted killing or not," DIG Cheema said. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
Kakar had served as DIG special branch and on other important positions in Balochistan.
The incident comes less than a month after a police constable was shot dead in Nawan Killi area of the provincial capital.
Police officers are said to be high-risk targets in Balochistan.
Balochistan has been divided into two areas – A and B – based on how their security is organised. Police are responsible for maintaining law and order in Category A areas ─ 10 per cent of the province ─ while Category B is under the control of the Balochistan Levies. However, 90pc of violent crime occurs in Category A areas that are covered by police.
The high level of organisation in police ranks is believed to be one of the factors that incite violence against it by terrorist outfits.
Around 2001, at the onset of the deterioration in Balochistan’s security situation, Baloch separatists would target police constables in Quetta, mainly because most cops hailed from Punjab.
With the passage of time, as the ethnic composition of the police department changed, sectarian and militant outfits began carrying out attacks against cops. In recent years, most targeted attacks against policemen have been claimed by the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) or the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
A number of attacks in Balochistan last year targeted senior police officials.
According to the police department, it has lost over 830 officers and constables in different incidents since 1979.