Angry supporters of Imran Khan took to the streets across Pakistan after Friday prayers to protest the assassination attempt on the deposed prime minister who, in a dramatic speech to the nation from a hospital, vowed to resume his march to Islamabad and call new general elections. to demand.
While Mr Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party insisted Thursday’s attack was a “prelude to a well-thought-out conspiracy” to assassinate their leader, the federal government has asked the PTI-led provincial government of Punjab to set up a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) for a thorough investigation to uncover facts.
Imran Khan, 70, suffered gunshot wounds to the right leg when two gunmen shot at him on Thursday in the Wazirabad area of Punjab province, where he led a protest march against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government.
Mr Khan, whose right leg was plastered, vowed to address the nation for the first time from his Shaukat Khanum hospital in Lahore, where he will be treated once he recovers from his injuries.
“As soon as I am better, I have decided to take to the streets and make the call to Islamabad,” he said in his one-hour and 45-minute speech attacking the government led by Prime Minister Sharif.
Meanwhile, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said Mr Khan’s allegations were all lies and fabrication.
“He still thinks with all this drama and false stories that he can fool all the people all the time,” she said at a press conference after Mr Khan’s speech.
“It’s his idea to lie so much that it starts to look like the truth,” she said.
Mr Khan said he was hit by four bullets.
dr. Faisal Sultan, who is treating the cricketer turned politician, said X-rays of Imran Khan’s right leg showed his tibia was damaged and in fact broken.
“In this scan, the line you see on the right leg is the main artery. The bullet fragments were very close to it,” Sultan said. Describing the attempt on his life, he said he was on the container when a “shot blast” was aimed at him, shooting him in the leg and falling to the ground.
“Then there will be a second eruption, there were two people,” he said, recounting the incident.
He said if the two shot blasts were synchronized, he wouldn’t have survived.
“Because I fell, I think he” [the shooter] thought I had died and fled,” he said.
Mr Khan noted that one suspect, who claimed to be an extremist, had been arrested.
“He is not an extremist. There was a plan behind the attempt [and] we’ll find out,” he said.
Khan also reiterated his claim that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer were part of the sinister plot to assassinate him in the same way that former Punjab governor Salman Taseer was assassinated in 2011 by a religious extremist.
Meanwhile, protests by PTI workers broke out in several cities across the country after Friday prayers.
Furious protesters blocked the busy Murree Road, Rawalpindi’s artery, which leads to Islamabad.
They also clashed with police at the Faizabad Junction, which connects twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Separately, there were protests outside the governor’s house in Lahore, with televised footage showing protesters attempting to climb the gates of the sprawling property.
Fawad Chaudhry, a senior leader of Mr Khan’s party, claimed it was “a planned assassination attempt on Imran Khan and he narrowly escaped”.
“The mastermind behind the attack are the three main suspects, Shahbaz Sharif, Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer, and without removing them from their posts. It is not possible to proceed with the investigation,” he said in a tweet. .
At a meeting of the party’s senior leadership, the doctors briefed them on the details of Mr Khan’s surgery, Mr Chaudhry said.
Meanwhile, police in Pakistan’s Punjab province have arrested two more suspects who they believe sold the gun and bullets for Rs 20,000 to Naveed Mohammad Basheer, the attacker who attempted to kill Mr Khan, Geo News reported.
Basheer has confessed to attacking Imran Khan for “trying to mislead the public”. Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior has asked the provincial government of Punjab to set up a High Level Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to uncover the facts.
In a communiqué, it asked the provincial government to include senior police officers and intelligence personnel in the JIT.
Earlier, at a press conference with Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Interior Minister Sanaullah said the JIT should be made up of senior officers for “credible and transparent investigations” into the incident. He also assured the provincial government of the center’s “full assistance” in the investigation.
The minister also blamed the Punjab government for the security flaw that may have led to the resignation. He also placed the responsibility for the leaked video of the attacker’s confession on the shoulders of the provincial government.
Police officers and other officials in Pakistan’s Punjab province have been suspended by Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi for leaking the alleged attacker’s confession statement after the gun attack on Khan.
Imran Khan launched his march from Lahore on October 28 with the aim of reaching Islamabad on November 4 to hold a demonstration to force the government to announce new elections.
Imran Khan, who was ousted from power in April after losing a vote of no confidence in the National Assembly, has repeatedly spoken of a “letter of threat” from the US, claiming it was part of a foreign conspiracy to remove him as he was. unacceptable for the conduct of an independent foreign policy. The US flatly rejected the allegations.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)
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