Pakistan’s Imran Khan stable after shooting, blames government
LAHORE – Former Pakistan premier Imran Khan underwent surgery to remove bullet fragments after he was shot in the leg on Thursday at a rally in eastern Punjab province. He is in stable condition.
Khan blames Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and others in his administration for the attack, according to Asad Umar, a senior leader of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Khan spoke to two senior party members after the shooting and asked them to convey his statement, Umar said.
Khan has called for Sharif’s resignation or to face nationwide protests, Umar said, adding that a police complaint will be filed against the PM and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah.
Sharif’s government has condemned the incident and called for an investigation.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah also rejected the allegation and the PTI’s demand for Sharif to resign.
The chief minister of Punjab Province, Parvez Elahi, announced on Twitter the formation of a joint investigation team to look into the shooting.
In the US, Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged all sides in Pakistan to refrain from violence as he condemned the assassination attempt.
“Violence has no place in politics, and we call on all parties to refrain from violence, harassment and intimidation,” Blinken said in a statement.
“The United States is deeply committed to a democratic and peaceful Pakistan, and we stand with the Pakistani people.”
Khan was leading a march towards the capital Islamabad to demand early elections.
Some PTI officials have said there were two shooters at the scene.
Local TV stations are broadcasting the alleged confession made by one of the attackers to the police. At least one by-stander was killed in the gunfire, according to police.
Several supporters have taken to the streets in Karachi and Islamabad and other cities to protest.
Khan’s party leaders are urging for the march to continue. - AFP, BLOOMBERG
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