Dictatorship of Pakistan Pushing Down the country in worst situation ever in history.
Shots were fired at a container carrying party leadership, killing one PTI supporter and injuring 14 others, including lawmakers.
• Asad relays Imran’s message, blaming the government and military officials for the attack.
• Accused assassin apprehended by activists, now in custody; claims’sole responsibility’
• Fawad calls it an attack on Pakistan and its people, and urges workers and supporters to seek vengeance.
• Protests erupt across the country
LAHORE: Former Prime Minister Imran Khan was shot at and injured in what appeared to be an assassination attempt on Thursday evening when a suspect, standing in front of the container carrying the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief and senior party leaders, fired a volley of bullets with an automatic pistol as the party’s ‘Haqaaqi Azadi’ march reached Wazirabad’s Allahwala Chowk.
It was later revealed that a PTI supporter, Muazzam Nawaz, had died, and that 14 party leaders and workers, including Senator Faisal Javed Khan, MNA Ahmad Nasir Chattha, and Omer Mayar, had been injured.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who was shot multiple times in the leg, was reported to be stable and was transferred to Lahore’s Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital. Other injured people were taken to nearby hospitals for immediate treatment. Mr Khan underwent surgery, and pellets were removed from his thigh and shin.
After his operation at Shaukat Khanum, the PTI chairman stated that he was fine and that the long march would continue until it reached Islamabad. “I will not back down, but will remain determined to bring Haqeeqi Azadi to my fellow Pakistanis,” he said, according to PTI official media, adding that the march would resume from Wazirabad at 11 a.m. on Friday (today).
The PTI resumed its long march from Wazirabad on Thursday afternoon, the seventh day of the movement, with a target time of 4:15pm. The injured party chairman ordered that the march be called off for the day.
According to witnesses, the suspected assailant fired an entire round of the bullet magazine and was attempting to load a second when he was overpowered from behind by a PTI supporter, Ibtisam. The suspect was eventually apprehended and taken to a nearby police station.
The “targeted” attack drew widespread condemnation from both sides of the political aisle.
Fawad Chaudhry, a senior PTI leader, claimed it was “a planned assassination attempt on Imran Khan, and he escaped narrowly,” claiming an automatic weapon was used.
“It was a well-planned assassination attempt on Imran Khan,” Mr Chaudhry tweeted. The assassin intended to kill Imran Khan and the PTI leadership. It wasn’t a 9MM round, but rather a burst from an automatic weapon. There were no two ways about it: it was a narrow escape.”
A highly charged Chaudhry had immediately after the incident called it an attack on Pakistan and its people, and asked party workers and supporters across the country to seek vengeance from atop the leading container in the long march.
Imran blames the government and military officials.
Later, in a video statement, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar said Mr Khan was safe and had conveyed a message that he had prior knowledge of the attack on his life, holding three senior government and military officials responsible. He went on to say that “PTI chief Imran Khan demanded [the trio’s] removal from their offices, or a nationwide protest would be launched.” He instructed workers to wait for the party’s next protest call.
“The assailant had aimed at Imran Khan, but two marchers sensed danger and pushed the pistol down, averting a major disaster,” he explained.
Dr. Yasmin Rashid, President of the PTI in Punjab, also warned the establishment that “Imran Khan is our red line, and you have crossed it.” “You cannot deter us,” she tweeted. You simply cannot! We will hold you accountable.”
Mr Umar was accompanied by Punjab senior minister Mian Aslam Iqbal, who said a FIR would be filed against the three officials named by Mr Khan, and that an application and statement had been submitted to the Punjab police chief.
Later, the electronic media watchdog barred TV channels from airing Mr Umar’s statement, stating that “broadcasting of such content is likely to create hatred among the people or is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order or is likely to disturb public peace and tranquility or endangers national security is a serious violation of Article 19 of the Constitution and Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as well as the Electronic Media Code of Conduct 2015.”
Mr Khan’s ex-wife, Jemima Goldsmith, praised the PTI supporter who overpowered the suspect. She tweeted “hero” with a photo of the man. She also expressed gratitude to God that the former premier was okay. Mr Khan is said to have later spoken to his children in the United Kingdom and assured them that he was safe.
Immediately following Mr Khan’s assassination, PTI leaders and supporters took to the streets in cities across the country to condemn the attack. Protests were also held outside Shaukat Khanum hospital, Shahdara Chowk, GPO Chowk, The Mall, outside Governor House, Ferozepur Road, and Babu Sabu Interchange, with protesters burning tyres and blocking roads.
Protests were held in Karachi from the Power House intersection to the 4K intersection, where the service road was closed for traffic, as well as at the 5-Star intersection, Teen Talwar, and the Native Jetty Bridge, where pro-Imran slogans were raised.
A massive protest was held in Rawalpindi’s Faizabad area, with people burning tyres, shouting anti-government and pro-Imran Khan slogans, and blocking Murree Road. A massive protest was held in Faisalabad at Jinnah Colony Chowk on Narwala Road. Another, led by PTI leader Farrukh Habib, was held near the home of Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, where protesters vandalized a lion statue.
Protesters gathered outside the Corps Commander House in Peshawar, shouting ‘independence’ slogans. MNA Amjad Ali Khan and District General Secretary Ameer Khan led a protest at Dattakhel Chowk in Mianwali, where the road was blocked and people shouted anti-government slogans and burned tires.
Protests in Hafizabad, Kotli, and Muzaffarabad in AJK, Gilgit, Multan, Ahmedpur East, Chanigoth, Uch Sharif, Gujrat, Sheikhupura, Sialkot, Pindigheb, Jahanian, Buner, Lodhran, Bajaur, Parachinar, Swabi, Kohat, Timergara, and Gojra were also held.