(Photo credit: REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro)
Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan was reportedly shot in the foot during an attack at a rally in the city of Gujranwala, before being transferred to a hospital in Lahore.
Breaking News: Former PM Imran Khan has been shot in an apparent assassination attempt. He was hit in the leg, and is now being treated in hospital. pic.twitter.com/f16vzU3iJL
— The Cradle (@TheCradleMedia) November 3, 2022
According to local reports, an unidentified man opened fire on the vehicle carrying Khan. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The former premier was seen in stable condition after being shot, even waving at his supporters.
Imran Khan was shot in the leg but was stable while being taken to hospital. He waived at supporters too. #عمران_خان_ہماری_ریڈ_لائن_ہے pic.twitter.com/XizoAQzPax
— PTI (@PTIofficial) November 3, 2022
During an interview with Aaj TV, senior leader in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Fawad Chaudhry, said that Senator Faisal Javed and PTI member Ahmad Chattha were also injured.
“If the shooter had not been stopped by people there, the entire PTI leadership would have been wiped out,” Chaudhry said.
Azhar Mashwani, an official with the PTI, told Al Jazeera, that six people were injured in the attack, including Khan.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif issued a statement condemning the shooting and ordered authorities to launch an immediate investigation.
Khan, who was removed from office earlier this year in a US-backed parliamentary coup, had been leading a march towards Islamabad since 28 October. He was expected to reach the Pakistani capital on 11 November in a push to demand new elections.
The motorized caravan was slowly making its way northwards up the Grand Trunk Road to Islamabad, garnering thousands of followers along the way.
Back in August, Khan was charged with terrorism after he allegedly made threats against police and judicial officers during a rally in Islamabad. However, these charges were dropped just one month later by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
On top of the highly controversial accusation, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned the transmission of Khan’s speeches for being “prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order and likely to disturb public peace and tranquility.”
The former prime minister has described running government authorities as “fascist,” who plotted with “foreign powers” to oust him from his position.
Pressure started to build against Khan after he criticized western powers for pressuring Islamabad into condemning Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.
“What do you think of us? Are we your slaves … that whatever you say, we will do?” Khan said at a political rally.
On 1 April, the former Pakistani leader delivered an official letter of protest to the US embassy, condemning what he called Washington’s “meddling in the country’s affairs.” Two days later, lawmakers in parliament chanted “death to America” after the legislative body rejected the initial attempt at a no-confidence vote against Khan.