Imran Khan Injured In Firing At His Rally In Pakistan’s Gujranwala, Taken To Hospital: Reports

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Imran Khan being shifted to a car after firing during his “long march” against Shehbaz Sharif government.

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan was injured in firing during his rally at Wazirabad in Pakistan’s Punjab province and was rushed to a hospital. His right leg bandaged, he was seen waving to supporters before he was shifted into an SUV, indicating that the injury was not serious.

The attacker, who has been arrested, fired at the former cricketer from below when he was standing atop a container-truck to address his ongoing “long march to Islamabad” against the Shehbaz Sharif government.

At least four of his party leaders were injured, one of whom, parliamentarian Faisal Javed Khan, later called it an assassination attempt and said a supporter had died.

The incident in Gujranwala district, about 200 km from Islamabad, comes just seven months after he was unseated upon losing the army establishment’s confidence. He has since been campaigning against the army and intelligence agency ISI’s “interference” that “undermined democracy”.

It brought back chilling memories of how former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was shot dead during a rally in 2007, though Mr Khan escaped serious injury, said news agencies.

PM Shehbaz Sharif condemned the firing and directed Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah to seek an immediate report from the police and administration, Geo reported. 

Barely an hour before the firing, he had told supporters in another part of the town, where he was scheduled to deliver a speech, that they should accompany him to a different area instead, promising to speak there, Geo reported. His party tweeted a video showing him boarding the container-truck from his black SUV.

The firing took place minutes later as he got to the container’s roof for his speech.

The gunman fired from a pistol from the left side of where Imran Khan was standing; he could not get close enough for a clear shot in a tight crowd, reports said.

Local channel Geo News reported that chaotic scenes broke out near his reception camp at Allahwala Chowk after the gunshots rang. At least four party leaders were among those injured, it added. 

Having been unseated reportedly after losing the army establishment’s confidence in April, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leader has been demanding resignation of the new central government formed by his two main opponents that are otherwise rivals of each other too, the Sharifs’ Muslim League (PML-N) and the Bhuttos’ Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

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