The president of the Pakistan Association of Hong Kong, Qamar Zaman Minhas, suffered a 40cm-long wound to his back in a mysterious attack in a busy shopping area yesterday.
Minhas, 43, an Equal Opportunities Commission member, was recovering in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei last night after having surgery.
Police said that Minhas' condition, while not life-threatening, did not allow him to be questioned.
The victim was walking with a 38-year-old friend when he was attacked on Nathan Road, outside Burlington House - which is about 400 metres from the Tsim Sha Tsui police station - shortly after 2pm.
According to police, the victim was attacked from behind and he did not see the attacker.
"An initial investigation shows that the culprit suddenly rushed out and attacked the victim with a knife from behind without saying a word," a police officer said.
"The victim and his friend immediately ran into a shoe shop to seek help. The attacker did not give chase, but fled."
The friend then called police.
Crime-squad officers were searching for evidence, such as closed-circuit television footage, in an attempt to identify the attacker.
The motive for the attack was still unknown.
Before the emergency crew arrived, Minhas and his friend jumped into a taxi and went to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to seek medical treatment.
The friend told police that he did not know of any motive for the attack.
Another officer said the attack appeared to be a warning, rather than an attempt to kill Minhas.
"Otherwise, the attacker would have given chase when the victim tried to escape," he said.
Detectives from the Yau Tsim Mong district crime squad are investigating the case.
Last night, Waqas Nawaz, a manager at the Pakistan Association, confirmed that its president had been attacked and was in hospital. But he declined to give further details.