WAZIRABAD: Seven people, including former prime minister Imran Khan and other party leaders, were injured and a party worker was killed in a gun attack on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief’s container as his convoy reached Wazirabad’s Allah Wala Chowk on Thursday. The Punjab police said the deceased has been identified as Muazzam Nawaz.
“It was a clear assassination attempt. Khan was hit but he’s stable. There was a lot of bleeding,” Fawad Chaudhry told Reuters. “If the shooter had not been stopped by people there, the entire PTI leadership would have been wiped out.” The Punjab police confirmed that a party worker, who was in the city to welcome the caravan — which was there for the party’s second iteration of its “Azadi” march — was killed in the attack. Meanwhile, a suspect was also taken into custody from the site.
The injured include PTI leaders Ahmed Chattha and Chaudhry Yousuf, and party workers Omer Meyer and Rashid. Senator Javed, who was also wounded and had blood stains on his clothes, told media from the hospital: “Several of our colleagues are wounded. We heard that one of them is dead.”
Following the firing, Imran Khan was immediately shifted to a hospital in Lahore, according to Reuters, while the other injured were taken by ambulances to the nearby Wazirabad Institute of Cardiology. According to rescue officials and PTI, ten people were injured due to the firing, including the PTI officials. Reports also said that one child was included in the injured people.
Footage on television showed an injured Imran Khan waving to supporters after reportedly being shot and then being carried to his bulletproof pickup truck. In separate footage broadcast on television, one alleged assailant could be seen being subdued by party supporters and subsequent photos showed him being taken away by policemen.
Pakistan Army has strongly condemned the attack on Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and former prime minister Imran Khan, injuring him and others. Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) said that the military offers sincere prayers for precious life lost and the speedy recovery and well-being of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and all those injured in this unfortunate incident.”
Politicians and government leaders, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, PPP Co-chairman Asif Zardari, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, among other leaders, condemned the incident in “strongest words.” Gunshots were fire at Imran Khan near the PTI’s reception camp at Allahwala Chowk in Gujranwala at about 4:25pm on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for planning and development Ahsan Iqbal has also condemned the incident. In his tweet, the minister said, “Thank God Imran Niazi is safe,” adding that there is no room for violence in politics. He also urged the Punjab government to review the security arrangements.