November 4, 2022
ISLAMABAD – 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 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 Geo News 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.
Imran has named 3 suspects behind today’s attack: Asad Umar
PTI leader Asad Umar, in a video message hours after the incident, said that party chairman Imran Khan has named three suspects who could be behind today’s attack.
“Shortly before this video, Imran Khan called us and told us to convey this message to the nation on his behalf. He said that he had received some information earlier as well.
“He said that he believes three people were involved in the attack,” Umar said.
PTI condemns the ‘assassination attack’
The attack triggered widespread condemnation from across the political divide.
PTI’s Farrukh Habib confirmed that the party chairman was injured.
Shortly after the “assassination attempt”, PTI’s official account shared a video of Javed — who had bandages on his face and clothes were blood-stained — asking people to pray for Imran.
PTI’s Asad Umar said, “They could not stop him [Imran Khan] so, they tried to martyr him.”
PTI’s Shahbaz Gill blamed PML-N’s Rana Sana for the attack as “he was giving threats of a fatal attack for many days by saying words like ‘crushing the head”.
PTI’s Shireen Mazari also reiterated the allegation of Gill while also saying, “The string pullers, the establishment will also be held responsible by the nation for this murderous attack on Imran Khan.”
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took notice of and “severely condemned” the firing incident.
He also instructed Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah to seek an immediate report on the incident from the IGP and chief secretary Punjab.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto condemned the “attack” and prayed for Imran’s “swift recovery”.
PDM leaders react
PML-N’s Marriyum Aurangzeb announced that Sharif has postponed his scheduled press conference that was to be done about his recent China visit.
PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal said, “Thank God that Imran Khan is safe. There is no place for violence in politics”.
PPP MNA Shazia Atta Marri condemned the incident as well.
PML-N MPA Hina Pervez Butt also called for the “suspect’s arrest and immediate investigation”.