Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was shot in the leg at a rally on Thursday in what an official from his party said was an assassination attempt.
Pakistan Justice Movement (PTI) senior leader Asad Omar said Khan was hit by a bullet after a gunman opened fire, adding: “Yes, he was shot with a projectile in his leg. , his bones were shattered and he was shot in the thigh.”
The ex-Pakistan cricket captain was taken to Lahore for treatment from a rally site outside Gujranwala, a roughly two-and-a-half-hour drive. Omar added that he is now out of danger and in stable condition.
Earlier, Senator Fawad Chowdhury, a senior PTI politician and Khan’s former information minister, said Khan was undergoing surgery and six others were injured and were still receiving treatment.
A man was arrested Thursday for allegedly shooting at the rally, police said, adding that the male suspect was arrested with a 9mm pistol and two empty magazines.
Pakistan’s Punjab chief minister Chowdhury Perwaz tweeted: “We want to know who was behind this incident, who trained the accused, what was the boy’s preparation, how much money he got, and how much money he got. Where did you get it.” Erashi.
At least one person was killed in the incident, according to Faisal Javed, a senior PTI politician and close Khan ally, who suffered head injuries in the attack. The victim’s name has not been released.
In a video statement, Javid can be seen sitting up while being treated, saying: “Please pray for us, for Imran Khan, for our seriously injured colleagues and for our party members who have died and martyred pray. ”
Khan is on the seventh day of a national rally tour calling for early elections from next August.
Pro-Khan protests erupted across Pakistan, including in the capital Islamabad and Peshawar, where some 800 protesters, holding party flags and chanting slogans against the army and the federal government, blocked roads for about two hours.
Several PTI politicians addressed the crowd, including provincial assembly member Fazal Elahi, who said the attack was part of a conspiracy against PTI leadership.
“Today we had a peaceful protest, and it will continue in the future,” Errahi said.
Khan claimed that Pakistani Prime Minister Sheikh Baz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanura and a senior intelligence officer, Major. General Faisal Naseer, was behind Thursday’s attack.
Khan made the allegations in a statement shared by senior PTI leader Umar, who said he had spoken to Khan recently.
“I was given information in advance that this was going to happen,” Khan said, according to Omar. “These people need to be removed, and if they’re not removed, there will be protests.”
Sharif, who came to power after Khan lost a vote of no confidence in parliament in April, condemned Thursday’s attacks on his political opponents on Twitter.
“I condemn in the strongest terms the shooting at PTI chairman Imran Khan,” Sharif wrote, adding that he has asked for an “immediate report of this incident” and will pray for the recovery of the wounded.
“Violence should not have a place in our country’s politics,” Sharif wrote.
On October 21, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) recommended that Khan be disqualified from political office for five years, a move that could further fuel political tensions in the country.
In reading the recommendation, ECP chairman Sikandar Sultan Raja said Khan had been disqualified for engaging in “corrupt practices”.
The committee said its decision was based on Khan “making false statements” in announcing the sale of gifts given to him by the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Dubai during his tenure – an illegal offence under the country’s constitution.
Khan was removed from his seat in a vote of no confidence after claims of poor governance and economic mismanagement.
Since then, he has repeatedly claimed, without providing any evidence, that the US orchestrated his ouster. Khan’s allegations have become a staple of his rallies across Pakistan aimed at returning to power.
His rhetoric resonated with young people in a country where anti-American sentiment was running high, while a rising cost of living crisis fueled anti-establishment sentiment.
This is not the first time a Pakistani politician has been attacked.
Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on 27 December 2007, and then Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani survived an assassination attempt in 2008.
On Thursday, the United States condemned the attack on the former prime minister. “The United States strongly condemns the attack on Imran Khan and his supporters, and wishes a speedy recovery for all injured. Violence has no place in politics,” White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said on an Air Force flight to New Mexico told reporters on the 1st.
“We call on all parties to remain peaceful and avoid violence.”
Correction: A previous version of this story contained an old photo of Imran Khan that was misdistributed by The Associated Press. It has been removed.