Months after he was ousted from power, Imran Khan – Pakistan’s former prime minister – was reported to have faced an attempt on his life. He suffered an injury on leg following a gunfire targeting his vehicle. The attack took place during a protest march in the city of Wazirabad in Pakistan on Thursday evening. A person – accused in the assassination attempt – has been arrested. One person died and at least five others were injured amid the gunfire.
Here are top points on the attack on Imran Khan:
1) The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of Khan – the 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician who has been calling for fresh elections in the country ever since his government collapsed – has blamed Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif and two others for the attack. His protesters also held widespread protests.
2) “Sirf Imran Khan ko maarna tha (I came only to kill Imran Khan)… I did this because he is misleading people. I couldn’t accept it…” the accused was heard saying in a leaked clip.
3) “Violence has no place in politics, and we call on all parties to refrain from violence, harassment, and intimidation,” U.S. Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, was quoted as saying in an official statement amid the outpouring of reactions. The United States, he further added, “is deeply committed to a democratic and peaceful Pakistan, and we stand with the Pakistani people” as Blinken wished a speedy recovery to Khan and others injured; he also condoled the death during the rally.
4) Earlier, in his statement, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had also made similar remarks on use of violence. “I condemn the incident of firing on PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the strongest words. I have directed Interior Minister for an immediate report on the incident.,” he tweeted, stressing that his government would offer all the support for a thorough probe.
5) The country’s media watchdog – the Pakistan Electronic and Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) – is reported to have stopped news channels from broadcasting remarks by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar following the attack on Khan. Umar had reportedly blamed Shehbaz Sharif, the country’s Interior Minister and a top ISI General
6) “Broadcasting of such content is likely to create hatred among the people or is prejudicial to maintenance of law and order or is likely to disturb public peace and tranquility or endangers national security,” the watchdog stated, citing Article 19 of the Constitution and Section 27 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002, Pak daily – the Dawn – reported.
7) Ensuring that the accused would be brought to justice, Punjab’s Chief Minister Chaudhary Parvez Elahi said on Thursday night: “The police personnel who leaked the statement to the media (of the accused) have been suspended and the mobile phone has been seized.”
8) Elahi also said in a video statement that Khan was stable and there was suspicion that not one but two people were involved.
9) Not just the US, but other countries have also responded. Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry – in a statement – said that it stands with “people of Pakistan against all threats to its security and development process.”
10) India’s ministry of external affairs had earlier said: “We’re closely keeping an eye on and we’ll continue to monitor ongoing developments.”