Imran Khan, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, is said to be “stable and doing fine” after being shot in the leg on Thursday during an attack on a protest march. His supporters have accused the secret service of orchestrating the “assassination attempt”. Mr Khan had been waving to his supporters from the roof of a container lorry when shots were fired at his convoy in the eastern city of Wazirabad.
One person has been confirmed dead and at least 10 injured, including Mr Khan, in the unexpected violence.
Fawad Chaudhry, a former minister, said: “This is an assassination attempt on Imran Khan. If the shooter had not been stopped by people there, the entire PTI leadership would have been wiped out.”
The PTI refers to Mr Khan’s political party: the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice). The celebrated cricketer turned politician, 70, was ousted from office in April after a vote of no confidence for failing to stabilise the struggling economy and losing the support of the military.
In his statement, issued through the secretary-general of the PTI, Mr Khan accused Sharif, Rana Sanaullah, the interior minister, and Major General Faisal Naseer, director- general of counterintelligence, of plotting the attack.
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He said: “I have prior information about the attack and I demand all three should be removed from their position. If they are not removed we will call a country-wide protest.
“Allah has given me another life, I will fight back, God willing. I will fight the mafia till the last drop of my blood.”
Videos of the attack showed a man being wrestled to the ground as the shots rang out and people scrambled.
The former premier was taken to hospital in Lahore, where he issued a statement accusing his political rivals and Pakistan’s spy agency of masterminding the attempt on his life.
In the video, he said: “Imran Khan was misleading people and I won’t tolerate it. My aim was to kill only Imran Khan. I thought it was Azaan [prayer] call and they were playing music… I came on my motorbike to kill him.”
Pervaiz Elahi, the chief minister of Punjab, said officers who leaked the video would be disciplined.
Video of the shooting showed a large convoy of vehicles travelling slowly along a road, with MR Khan waving to the crowds from an open-topped lorry surrounded by aides and supporters.
A burst of automatic gunfire was then heard, forcing Mr Khan and those around him to duck or fall back.
Mr Chaudhry said: “Everyone who was standing in the very front row got hit.”
Those around Mr Khan at the time were his group of allies and supporters who were accompanying him on a protest march to the capital, Islamabad, to demand early elections. He hopes to regain power by ousting the government of his bitter rival, Shehbaz Sharif.
The vehicle was cordoned off and being investigated as a crime scene today.
Separate footage from inside the lorry moments after the shooting showed Mr Khan being carried away.
Mr Khan’s rival Mr Sharif and the Pakistani military both condemned the attack.