On November 3, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was shot in the leg while giving a speech in Wazirabad, Punjab Province. According to officials from Khan’s political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), he was hit in the shin and thigh and was rushed to a hospital in Lahore. He is currently in stable condition.
Police have detained a suspect in connection to the incident after a supporter tackled him. An automatic 9mm handgun and two empty magazines were seized from him. The suspect reportedly fired around six shots at Khan’s container-mounted truck. The suspect was recorded saying “I could see him misleading the nation. I only wanted to target Imran Khan and no one else,” when questioned about the shooting by the police. At the time of the incident, Khan was participating in the Azadi March-II, a political march from Lahore to Islamabad to push for new elections. Hundreds of his supporters were present and armed police were reportedly at the scene on standby. A supporter was shot dead trying to disarm the shooter according to reports on the ground.
A journalist present at the scene, Zoraiz Bangash, told the BBC that “It all started when Khan was leading the rally and all of a sudden there were gunshots heard and the moment we all realized there was person seen with a pistol, a 9mm pistol and the moment he fired some shots which unfortunately landed on some of the PTI leadership and [Mr] Khan who was shot in the leg.”
Earlier this year in April, Khan, 70, was ousted after losing a no-confidence vote. Since then, he has been holding political rallies all over the country in order to garner support and push for early elections. Khan has alleged that Shehbaz Sharif, Rana Sanaullah, and Major General Faisal, all high-ranking members of the government, were responsible for the attack. Protests have broken out in multiple cities against the shooting and in support of Khan.
Khan’s rival, and current prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif denounced the shooting and ordered an immediate investigation. Several world leaders and governments such as Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, and the White House have also spoken out against the attack.
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