Imran Khan, former Pakistan Prime Minister was injured in a firing that took place at his campaign. The unfortunate incident occurred as Khan was leading a long procession of protest against the government.
Hours after the firing leaders as well as the Pakistani cricket team voiced strong condemnation against the attack. No political group has yet come forward to claim responsibility for the attack.
Khan had planned to lead a motorized caravan from Lahore to Islamabad while attracting supporters along the way. He had already been six days into the procession at Gujranwala’s Allahwala Chowk in Wazirabad, about 200 kms from Islamabad.
He was seen waving to thousands of cheering people from the top of a container truck when the shooter fired. Khan was shot in the shin of his leg and was immediately helped out of the scene. It has been claimed that several others among his aides have also been critically injured from the attack.
Who Is The Shooter?
Footage obtained from multiple channels shows the suspect gunman, a man who seemed to be in his twenties or thirties. He was seen aiming a handgun, reportedly a 9mm automatic weapon, in the air while a civilian tried to stop him from behind. But the gunman was agile and quickly ran off from the scene, before getting caught later.
The suspect was identified as Faisal Butt by Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb. He was immediately arrested and the police later released a video of him in custody.
The gunman confessed to his actions and also claimed that he was alone. But the conditions under which he made his statement have not been ascertained.
This video has been doing the rounds on the internet and records a person interrogating the gunman on his motives behind the terror attack. With his hands tied behind his back, the suspect explained that he wanted to assassinate Khan as he was “misleading the people”.
“I tried my best to kill him. I wanted to kill Imran Khan only and no one else”, he said. Also, he added that he had been planning the attack since a week before when Khan left Lahore, and also claimed sole responsibility for the firing.
Reaction And Reminiscence
Fawad Chaudhry, spokesperson for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, told Reuters, “It was a clear assassination attempt. Khan was hit but he’s stable. There was a lot of bleeding”. He also added, “If the shooter had not been stopped by people there, the entire PTI leadership would have been wiped out”.
Leaders came on social media to express anger over the incident. Pakistan Foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted that he “strongly condemned” the attack and prayed for Khan’s Swift recovery.
Also, former and current Pakistani cricketers strongly condemned the assassination attempt. Babar Azam said, “May Allah Keep Kaptan Safe”, while praying for the safety of World Cup winning former cricket captain Imran Khan.
This incident is reminiscent of Pakistan’s long history of political violence. In December 2007, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb attack at an election rally in Rawalpindi. Her father and former PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto were also assassinated, getting hanged after being deposed in a military coup in 1979.
Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked
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