Imran Khan blames Pakistan establishment for plot to assassinate him

Date:


Islamabad, Pakistan
CNN

Tensions escalated in Pakistan on Friday when former Prime Minister Imran Khan blamed the establishment for a plot to assassinate him — a claim strenuously denied by government and security officials.

A day after surviving a shooting at a political rally outside the city of Gujranwala, in Punjab province, Khan gave a wide-ranging speech at a hospital in Lahore city, where he was recovering from injuries sustained. While in a wheelchair, the cricketer-turned-politician named three high-ranking figures behind the attack.

The former Pakistani leader suffered a fracture to his right leg as a result of stray bullet wounds, Dr. Faisal Sultan to reporters. Sultan showed X-rays showing the fracture in Khan’s right leg, and bullet fragments stuck to both sides of his femur.

Without providing evidence, Khan accused Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal, who is a senior intelligence official. CNN is contacting the three men for comment.

Khan first claimed on Thursday that the trio was responsible for the plot, in a statement shared by PTI leader Asad Umar, who said he had recently spoken with Khan.

In a televised address on Thursday, Sanaullah rejected the accusation, calling it “serious.”

The Pakistani military’s media wing condemned Khan’s claims on Friday, calling them “baseless and irresponsible allegations” and threatening legal action.

“No one will defame the institution or its soldiers with impunity. With this in mind, the Government of Pakistan has been requested to investigate the matter and take legal action against those responsible for defamation and false accusations against the institution and its officials, without any evidence,” the Inter-Services Public Relations said. ISPR).

Pakistani intelligence also refuted Khan’s claims that a senior intelligence official was behind the shooting, with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) telling CNN in a statement that the allegations are “baseless”.

“This is an attempt to harm the investigation from the outset. The organization had already sensitized the federal government about the threat to the former prime minister, who had communicated it to the provincial government of Punjab,” the statement read.

The ISI also said Khan’s security was under the authority of the Punjab provincial government, which is led by Khan’s Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

“The incident of the shooting is a security error on behalf of the government of Punjab and cannot be attributed to any person or security agency. The need of the hour is for peace in the country and not for irresponsible statements,” the ISI said in a statement.

Khan had said he was aware of the plot to kill him a day before it happened, and claimed that two gunmen were involved in his attack.

“There was an eruption from one side and another came from the front. There were two people,” Khan said when talking about the attack.

Khan has teamed up with the government since his dramatic ouster in a no-confidence vote in April. During that time, he has repeatedly claimed, without any evidence, that the United States was behind his loss of power.

One person died in Thursday’s attack, which injured several others and sparked protests among Khan’s supporters.

Video of the alleged attack shows Khan swinging from an open-topped truck as shots rang out, causing his party members to take cover.

A bullet struck Khan in the leg, said Asad Umar, the senior leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who later added: “Yes, he was shot, there are bullets in his leg, his bone is broken, he was also shot in the thigh.”

A man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of firing shots.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Information released a video on Thursday of a confession by an unnamed man who allegedly carried out the attack.

Khan called on citizens to protest against the three officials he claims planned his attack until they resign.

“As long as these three men do not resign, you must protest against dishonesty, you must do a jihad against them, jihad means standing up against injustice,” Khan said on Friday.

Khan said that once he recovers from his shooting attack, he will resume his so-called Long March to Islamabad, calling for early elections. He was on the seventh day of the nationwide tour, which began in Lahore on October 28 and was to end in Islamabad after winding through several Pakistani cities.

It is one of the rallies the former Pakistani cricket captain has held since his ouster in April.

Thursday’s incident is not the first time Pakistani politicians have been attacked.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007, and then Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani survived an assassination attempt in 2008.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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