Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan was shot in the leg during a rally on Thursday, a party official said, calling it an assassination attempt.
Khan was shot in the leg after a gunman opened fire, senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar said.
The former Pakistan cricket captain was taken from the rally site outside the city of Gujranwala to seek treatment in Lahore on a two-and-a-half-hour drive.
Senior PTI politician and Khan’s former information minister Senator Fawad Chaudhry said that Khan is in a stable condition and undergoing surgery.
Six others were injured and are still undergoing treatment, Chaudhry said.
The police said that they have arrested the person suspected of shooting at the demonstration. The male suspect was arrested with a 9mm handgun and two empty magazines, police said.
At least one person was killed in the incident, according to Faisal Javed, a senior PTI politician and close ally of Khan, who suffered a head wound in the attack. The victim’s name has not yet been released.
In the video statement, Javed, who is seen sitting under treatment, said: “Please pray for us, for Imran Khan, for our critically injured colleagues and for our deceased and martyred party member.” ”
Khan was on the seventh day of a nationwide advocacy tour calling for elections from August next year.
Pro-Pakistan rallies were held across Pakistan in the capital Islamabad as well as Peshawar, where around 800 protesters gathered, carrying party flags and chanting slogans against the army and the federal government, blocking roads for two hours.
Several PTI politicians, including state assembly member Fazal Elahi, addressed the crowd, saying the attack was part of a conspiracy against the PTI leadership.
“We held a peaceful demonstration that will continue today and in the future,” Elahi said.
Khan alleged that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanullah and senior intelligence official Major General Faisal Nasir were behind Thursday’s attack.
Khan made the allegation in a statement shared by senior PTI leader Umar, who claimed to have spoken to Khan recently.
“I was getting information earlier that this was going to happen,” Khan said. “These people must be removed from their positions. If they are not removed, there will be opposition.”
Sharif, who came to power after Khan lost a parliamentary no-confidence vote in April, condemned the attack on his political rival on Twitter on Thursday.
“I strongly condemn the firing on PTI Chairman Imran Khan,” Sharif wrote, asking for an “immediate report on the incident” and praying for the recovery of the injured.
“Violence should have no place in our country’s politics,” Sharif wrote.
On October 21, the Election Commission of Pakistan recommended that Khan be barred from holding political office for five years, a move that could further exacerbate political tensions in the country.
While reading the resolution, ECP chief Sikandar Sultan said that Raja Khan was not fit to be involved in the “corruption”.
The commission said the decision was made because Khan “made false statements” about the sale of gifts sent to Saudi Arabia and Dubai while they were in power, which is illegal under the country’s constitution. .
Khan faces a no-confidence vote following mismanagement and economic mismanagement.
Since then, without providing any evidence, he has repeatedly claimed that the United States orchestrated his impeachment. Khan’s accusations have become a major agenda item in the protests for his return to power in Pakistan.
His claims struck a chord with the young population in a country steeped in anti-Americanism, and anti-establishment sentiment fueled by the rising cost of living.
This is not the first time that Pakistani politicians have come under attack.
Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007, and then Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani survived an assassination attempt in 2008.