Islamabad/KABUL - Pakistan strongly protested over the killing of a diplomatic official in Afghanistan on Monday, demanding immediate action to apprehend culprits and measures to ensure security to its diplomatic staff.

Two assailants riding a motorbike opened fire on Nayyar Iqbl Rana, 52, at a shop in the eastern city of Jalalabad, according to Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan Zahid Nasrullah Khan.

When he was taken to the hospital he was pronounced dead, Khan said, adding he had “absolutely no idea” why Rana was targeted.

Nangarhar governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani confirmed the deadly attack on Rana, a father of five.

“Police have launched an investigation into the incident. No arrests have been made so far,” Khogyani said. Pakistan condemned the assault and summoned a senior Afghan diplomat to lodge protest against the killing.

A statement released by the foreign ministry said Afghan Charge d’Affaires was summoned by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua to protest killing of the diplomatic official.

Rana was the assistant to the consul general in Jalalabad, the capital of restive Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan.

The foreign ministry statement said Rana had finished “his three year tenure in Jalalabad and was due to return to Headquarters”.

The foreign secretary demanded that “the perpetrators of this act of violence should be apprehended and brought to justice”.

Janjua asked for foolproof security for Pakistani diplomats and missions in Afghanistan, the statement said.

The Afghan Charge d’Affaires expressed condolences on behalf of his government, assured provision of security to Pakistani diplomats and missions in Afghanistan, and to bring to justice the perpetrators of this terrorist act.

Despite escalating violence across Afghanistan diplomats are rarely killed in the country where they are protected by very tight security.

The incident comes a few months after two Pakistani diplomats working at the same consulate in Jalalabad were kidnapped and later freed.

It also comes as relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan remain tense.

The 52-year-old Rana is survived by a widow and five children.

President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in separate messages strongly condemned the heinous act and conveyed their deepest condolences and sympathies to the bereaved family.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif in his message condoled with the aggrieved family and denounced the tragic act of violence.

He urged the Afghan government to take urgent steps to apprehend the perpetrators and ensure the safety and security of the Pakistan’s diplomatic personnel and its missions in Afghanistan.

The officers and staff of the Foreign Ministry extended their condolences to Nayyar Iqbal Rana’s family, who had completed his three year tenure in Jalalabad and was due to return to headquarters.