Home » Imran Khan: Pakistan ex-prime minister wounded at protest march

Imran Khan: Pakistan ex-prime minister wounded at protest march

by Mahmmod Shar


Pakistan’s ousted Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has survived a gun attack on his convoy while holding a protest march in the eastern city of Wazirabad.

He was injured in the leg and four other people were also hurt when a burst of gunfire hit their platform, a container towed by a lorry.

There was no immediate official comment on the motive for the attack which allies say was an assassination bid.

The protest march had been called to demand early elections.

Mr Khan, 70, was leading the march, which was meant to end in the capital Islamabad.

The former prime minister was seen being taken to a hospital in Lahore. A party spokesman said he had been hit in the shin.

An official from his PTI party, provincial health minister Yasmeen Rashid, said Mr Khan was in a stable condition.

Police released a video confession of a man they arrested who they say had attempted to kill the former prime minister.

It is unclear under what conditions the interview was carried out but in it the man is asked by police why he opened fire, and replies: “He was misguiding the people. I wanted to kill him. I tried to kill him.”

Video footage from the scene shows Mr Khan and his supporters riding on top of the shipping container before a burst of gunfire is heard. Mr Khan is then seen ducking, as those around him try to cover him.

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Another video shows a conscious Mr Khan with a bandage on his right leg being taken away in a vehicle after the shooting.

A PTI member is also seen with a bandage on his face and blood on his clothing, saying that people should pray for Mr Khan and all those injured.

Image caption,This still image obtained from video shows Mr Khan being assisted after the attack

The senior aide to Mr. Khan, Raoof Hasan, told the AFP news agency that “this was an attempt to kill him, to assassinate him.”

Shehbaz Sharif, the current prime minister, denounced the shooting and commanded a prompt investigation. The incident was a “heinous assassination attempt,” according to President Arif Alvi.

For the past seven days, Mr. Khan has led a protest march, the second such gathering this year, calling for new elections.

Elections will take place as scheduled next year, the government has repeatedly stated.

Khan was barred from running for public office by Pakistan’s election commission last month in a case that the former All-Star cricketer claimed was politically motivated.

He had been charged with misdeclaring information about gifts from foreign dignitaries and the proceeds of their alleged sale. Rolex watches, a ring, and a set of cufflinks were among the gifts.

Political violence has a long history of being deadly in Pakistan.

In the most well-known incident, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was killed in 2007 at a gathering of the general public.

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