Imran Khan: Former Pakistani Prime Minister shot in the leg in an assassination attempt at a rally


Islamabad, Pakistan
CNN

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was shot in the leg at a rally on Thursday, according to a party official, who said the incident was an assassination attempt.

A bullet hit Khan after a gunman opened fire, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar said, later adding: “Yes, he has been shot, there are pellets in his leg, his bone is broken, he was also shot in the thigh.”

The former Pakistan cricket captain was taken from the rally site outside the city of Gujranwala for treatment in Lahore, about a two-and-a-half-hour drive away. He is currently out of danger and in a stable condition, Umar added.

Earlier, Senator Fawad Chaudhry, a senior PTI politician and Khan’s former information minister, said Khan was undergoing surgery and six others were injured and were still being treated.

The former prime minister is photographed after the incident.

A man suspected of shooting at the rally was arrested Thursday, police said, adding that the suspect was arrested with a 9mm handgun and two empty magazines.

At least one person was killed in the incident, according to Faisal Javed, a senior PTI politician and close ally of Khan who received a head injury in the attack. The victim’s name has not been released.

In a video statement, Javed, who can be seen sitting while receiving treatment, said: “Pray for us, for Imran Khan, pray for our fellow workers who are seriously injured and pray for our party member who has died and is martyred.”

Khan was on the seventh day of a nationwide demonstration tour calling for the elections to be brought forward to August next year.

Protests erupted across Pakistan in support of Khan, including in the capital Islamabad and Peshawar, where approximately 800 protesters gathered, blocking roads for about two hours while holding party flags and chanting slogans against the army and the federal government

A capture taken from the video of the incident

Several PTI politicians addressed the crowd, including provincial assembly member Fazal Elahi, who said the attack was part of a conspiracy against the PTI leadership.

“Today we made a peaceful protest that would continue in the future as well,” Elahi said.

Khan alleges that Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and a senior intelligence official, Maj. January Faisal Naseer, were behind Thursday’s attack.

Khan made the allegations in a statement shared by PTI leader Umar, who said he spoke to Khan recently.

“I was getting information that this was going to happen in advance,” Khan said, according to Umar. “These men must be removed from their positions, if they are not removed, there will be protests.”

Sharif, who came to power after Khan lost a parliamentary no-confidence vote in April, condemned Thursday’s attack on his political rival on Twitter.

“I condemn the incident of firing on PTI chairman Imran Khan in the strongest terms,” ​​Sharif wrote, adding that he has sought an “immediate report on the incident” and will pray for the recovery of the injured.

imran khan map

“Violence should have no place in our country’s politics,” Sharif wrote.

On 21 October, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) recommended that Khan be disqualified from holding political office for five years, a move that could further increase political tensions in the country.

While reading the recommendation, ECP chief Sikandar Sultan Raja stated that Khan was disqualified for being involved in “corrupt practices”.

The commission said its decision was based on the fact that Khan had “made false statements” about the declaration of the sale of gifts sent to him by the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Dubai while in office, an illegal offence. legal according to the country’s constitution. .

Khan was ousted in a vote of no confidence following claims of poor governance and economic mismanagement.

Since then he has repeatedly claimed, without providing any evidence, that the United States had orchestrated his expulsion. Khan’s allegations have become a staple of the demonstrations he has held across Pakistan in an attempt to return to power.

His claims have struck a chord with a young population in a country where anti-American sentiment is high, and anti-establishment sentiment is being fueled by a growing cost-of-living crisis.

It is not the first time that Pakistani politicians have been attacked.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on 27 December 2007, and then Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani survived an assassination attempt in 2008.

On Thursday, the US condemned the attack on the former prime minister. “The United States strongly condemns the attack on Imran Khan and his supporters and looks forward to the speedy recovery of all those injured. Violence has no place in politics,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean- Pierre, to reporters aboard Air Force One en route to New Mexico.

“We call on all parties to remain peaceful and refrain from violence.”

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