Imran Khan, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, has survived a shooting that took place at a political rally on Thursday. The party described the event as an assassination attempt. Khan is reportedly in stable condition after the attacker fired at his lower leg. The attack left one person dead, several others injured, and ignited protests among Khan’s supporters.
Videos of the incident shows Khan waving from an open-topped truck just outside the town of Gujranwala in Punjab province when shots rang out. Authorities promptly detained the male suspect after they found him with a 9mm pistol and two magazines.
Khan was seven days into a national tour. He has been holding demonstrations to press for early elections. Since being unexpectedly removed from office in a vote of no-confidence in April, the former Prime Minister has taken part in a numerous rallies.
Khan alleges that current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and a senior intelligence official, Maj. Gen. Faisal Naseer, were behind Thursday’s attack. He made these accusations in a statement shared to PTI aide Umar, who received this information via a phone-call from Khan.
The incident would not be a first assassination attempt in Pakistani history. Unfortunately, there have been a few successful ones in the country’s past. An assassin shot and killed Liaquat Ali Khan, who served as Pakistan’s first Prime Minister, at a political rally. Former two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was also killed in 2007 in Rawalpindi. Her brother, Murtaza Bhutto passed away in the same way in 1996.
Globally too, 2022 has shaped up to be a politically tumultuous year. Earlier in June, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s tragic assassination at a political event shook the world.