Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan wounded at protest march

StarAvis Desk
StarAvis Desk
4 Min Read
Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan (R) addresses his supporters during an anti-government march towards capital Islamabad, demanding early elections, in Gujranwala on November 1, 2022. Arif Ali | AFP | Getty Images

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.

For a long time, it was believed that Imran Khan had the support of the "establishment," or the military, in Pakistan.
For a long time, it was believed that Imran Khan had the support of the “establishment,” or the military, in Pakistan.

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.

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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.

Imran Khan waves to supporters after the shooting incident in Wazirabad, Pakistan.
Imran Khan waves to supporters after the shooting incident in Wazirabad. [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

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.

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.

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“This was an attempt to kill him, to assassinate him,” Mr Khan’s senior aide Raoof Hasan told AFP news agency.

Current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the shooting and ordered an immediate investigation. President Arif Alvi said the incident was a “heinous assassination attempt”.

Mr Khan has been leading a protest march – the second such rally this year – for the past seven days, calling for new elections.

The government has repeatedly said it will hold elections next year, as planned.

Last month, Pakistan’s election commission disqualified Mr Khan from holding public office in a case described by the former star cricketer as politically motivated.

He had been accused of incorrectly declaring details of gifts from foreign dignitaries and proceeds from their alleged sale. The gifts included Rolex watches, a ring and a pair of cuff links.

Pakistan has a long history of deadly political violence.

In the most high-profile case, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at a public rally in 2007.


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