Imran Khan blames Pakistan establishment for plot to assassinate him


Islamabad, Pakistan
CNN

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan accused officials of an assassination attempt on him on Friday, a move the government and security officials strongly denied, sparking heightened tensions in Pakistan.

A day after surviving a shooting at a political rally outside the Punjab city of Gujranwala, Khan gave the rousing speech at a hospital in Lahore where he was recuperating from his injuries. While in a wheelchair, the cricket star-turned-politician mentioned that three senior officials were behind the attack.

Dr. Faisal Sultan told reporters that the former Pakistani leader suffered a fractured right leg due to a bullet wound. X-rays are shown showing Sultan Khan’s fractured right leg and bullet fragments on both sides of his thigh.

Without offering evidence, Khan blamed Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and senior intelligence official Major General Faisal. CNN has contacted the three men for comment.

Khan first claimed on Thursday that the three were accused of the plot, which PTI senior leader Asad Umar said he had spoken to Khan recently.

In a televised speech on Thursday, Sanaullah denied the allegations, calling them “honorable”.

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Pakistan’s army media wing on Friday condemned Khan’s statement, calling it a “baseless and irresponsible statement” and threatened legal action.

“Nobody will be allowed to slander this organization and its soldiers. “In view of this, the Government of Pakistan has been requested to investigate the matter and hold those responsible for defaming and falsely accusing the organization and its officials without any evidence,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said. .

Pakistan’s intelligence agency also denied Khan’s claim that a senior intelligence official was behind the attack, and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) said in a statement to CNN that the allegations were “baseless”.

“This is an attempt to neutralize the investigation from the beginning. “The organization has already sensed the threat to the former chief minister, who has informed the Punjab government about it,” the statement said.

Former Pakistani leader Imran Khan was pictured at a rally earlier in the week.

The ISI also said that Khan’s security is under the control of the Punjab government, which is ruled by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

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

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Khan said he learned of the plot to kill him a day before the incident, and that two gunmen were involved in his attack.

“There was an explosion from one side and from the front from the other side. There were two people,” Khan said of the attack.

Khan has locked horns with the government since his dramatic ouster in a no-confidence vote in April. During this time, he repeatedly claimed, without any evidence, that the United States was behind his overthrow.

Thursday’s attack left one dead and several others injured, prompting protests by Khan’s supporters.

In a video of the attack, Khan can be seen waving from an open truck as gunshots ring out and his party members take cover.

Asad Umar, a senior leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said the bullet hit Khan in his leg.

The suspect who allegedly fired at the demonstration was detained on Thursday, police said.

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On Thursday, Pakistan’s Ministry of Information released a video of the confession of an unnamed man it said had carried out the attack.

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

“Unless these three people resign, you have to resist, against injustice, you have to wage jihad against them, jihad means standing against injustice,” Khan said on Friday.

Khan said he would resume his so-called long march to Islamabad, calling for early elections, once he recovers from the shooting attack. He was on the seventh day of a nationwide tour that started from Lahore on October 28 and was supposed to end in Islamabad after passing through several cities in Pakistan.

It is one of many protests the former Pakistan cricket captain has staged since his ouster in April.

Thursday’s incident is not the first time Pakistani politicians have come under attack.

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

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