Pakistan: Imran Khan Shot in Reported 'Assassination Attempt'

Former Pakistani PM, Imran Khan, was shot in the leg after a gunman opened fire at his anti-government protest convoy in Wazirabad in the eastern province of Punjab on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

Pakistan: Imran Khan Shot in Reported 'Assassination Attempt'
Image credit: AP Photos [via AP News]

Facts

  • Former Pakistani PM, Imran Khan, was shot in the leg after a gunman opened fire at his anti-government protest convoy in Wazirabad in the eastern province of Punjab on Thursday, according to multiple reports.
  • Khan, who chairs the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party, was reportedly injured alongside several members and supporters of his group. They were taking part in the so-called "Long March" from Lahore to Islamabad, calling on the Pakistani government to hold early elections.
  • Footage of the attack showed Khan atop a truck with several of his party members and supporters when several shots could be heard. Moments later, a suspected shooter can be seen being wrestled to the ground by a bystander.
  • A suspect has been arrested, and a video recorded by police appears to show him confessing, saying he acted alone and intended to kill Khan.
  • Khan was rushed to a hospital in Lahore and was reported to be safe and not in any life-threatening condition. Police later confirmed one dead, and at least seven people, including Khan, injured. The victim was identified as Muazzam Nawaz.
  • Several supporters of Khan described the attack as an "assassination attempt," while Pakistan's current PM, Shehbaz Sharif, condemned the shooting "in the strongest words" and called for an immediate investigation.

Sources: Associated Press, Guardian, Reuters, and Dawn.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by The News. The right to peacefully protest is a cornerstone of democracy, and regardless of what side you stand on, violence should have no place in Pakistan's politics. It's time for a swift investigation to hold those responsible accountable and prevent a repeat attack.
  • Narrative B, as provided by Dawn. Khan's relentless onslaught on the state has shown him to be undeterred by the prospect of martial law or a bloody revolution and willing to take extreme measures in his quest to regain power. While nothing justifies this violent attack, unchecked hubris could be his downfall. It remains to be seen whether he will reconsider the lengths he's willing to go to in order to achieve his aims.