Former Pakistani prime minister shot and wounded during march

ISLAMABAD (HPD) — A gunman opened fire on a campaign truck carrying former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday, slightly wounding him and killing one of his supporters, his party and police said. Nine other people were also injured.

Asad Umar, a party official, said Khan was injured in the leg and was not seriously injured. No group has claimed responsibility for the shooting.

The gunman was immediately arrested, and police later released video of him in custody, allegedly confessing and claiming he acted alone. It is not clear under what conditions he made such statements.

“My only target was Imran Khan,” says the suspect, identified as Faisal Butt by Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb.

The attack raised new concerns about growing political instability in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation with a population of 225 million people. Since his impeachment by Parliament in April, Khan has been able to mobilize mass rallies across the country, where he has incited crowds with claims that he was the victim of a conspiracy by his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif. , and the United States.

Both the new prime minister and Washington have denied such allegations.

Pakistan has a decades-long history of political assassinations, most notably that of Benazir Bhutto, who was twice prime minister and the first woman democratically elected to rule a Muslim country.

She was assassinated by a suicide bomber in 2007 at an election rally in Rawalpindi when she was running for a third term. Pakistan’s first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, was shot in 1951, also in Rawalpindi. Ministers, provincial governors and top political party leaders have also been killed since Pakistan was created in 1947.

According to police, Thursday’s attack occurred in Wazirabad district in the eastern province of Punjab, where Khan was traveling in a large convoy of trucks and cars heading to the capital, Islamabad, as part of his campaign to force the government to hold early elections.

Among the injured was also Faisal Javed, a lawmaker from Terik-e-Insaf. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan demanded a police report on the incident and condemned the attack.

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