Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, was wounded slightly in the leg and one of his fans was killed when a shooter opened fire on a campaign truck carrying him on Thursday, according to Imran Khan’s party and the police. Nine more people suffered injuries.
It was not immediately known who the shooter was who was detained on the site. The shooting has not yet been attributed to any particular organization.
The attack sparked fresh worries about Pakistan’s escalating political unrest, a nuclear-armed country with a sizable population of 225 million. Since being ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament in April, Khan has organized large-scale demonstrations around the nation, stirring up crowds by alleging that his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and the US were conspiring against him. Such accusations have been refuted by both the incoming premier and Washington.
Pakistan has a lengthy history of political killings, including that of Benazir Bhutto in 2007, who was the first Muslim leader to be democratically elected.
Khan, a former cricketer turned Islamist politician, was traveling in a massive convoy of trucks and cars toward the capital, Islamabad, when his convoy was attacked in the Wazirabad region of the eastern Punjab province. His campaign to compel the government to call for early elections includes the convoy.
Tehreek-e-Insaf legislator Faisal Javed was one of the injured. Javed declared on camera that Khan will continue his protest march to Islamabad despite having blood on his clothes.
According to district police officer Ghazanfar Ali, the incident left nine other people injured and one person dead. Rana Sanaullah Khan, the interior minister, denounced the assault.
A senior member of Khan’s party, Fawad Chaudhry, informed the supporters gathered around Khan’s truck that the incident was an attempt on the former premier of the nation’s life.
According to sources and a hazy photo, Khan was subsequently spotted wearing a bandage on his right leg, just above the foot. From his container truck, where assurances that he was safe were being made, he was transferred to another vehicle.
“He is being transported to a hospital in Lahore, but his injuries are not life-threatening. He was shot in the leg “Reporters were informed by Asad Umar, a Tehreek-e-Insaf official. The government has mandated an investigation into the incident, according to the Interior Ministry.
Khan has been at odds with the nation’s mighty military and has steadfastly defended his intention to march on the capital. Khan has the democratic right to hold a demonstration in Islamabad, but the military has said that no one will be permitted to destabilize the nation. Islamabad’s authorities have already increased security around the city to prevent any conflicts or violence.
Less than a week had passed since Khan and his hundreds of supporters set out on their march from Lahore, the capital of the Punjab state. If Khan’s convoy would continue to Islamabad was not yet clear. Chaudhry had earlier stated that they intended to enter Islamabad on Friday.
Khan has claimed that he was the victim of a conspiracy since being ousted in April and has called for early elections.
According to Sharif’s administration, there won’t be an early voting period and the upcoming elections will take place in 2023 as scheduled.
In response to allegations that he illegally sold gifts from the government and concealed assets while premier, Pakistan’s elections body barred Khan from holding public office for five years.
Khan, who is now fighting the disqualification in court, has threatened to sue Chief Election Commissioner Sikandara Raja for referring to him as a “dishonest person”
If Khan’s convoy would continue to Islamabad was not yet clear. The senior party leader Chaudhry had earlier stated that they intended to reach Islamabad on Friday.
The incident occurs as poor Pakistan deals with the fallout from the enormous floods that hit this Islamic country over the summer, killing 1,735 people and uprooting 33 million people.