Imran Khan blames Pakistan establishment for plot to assassinate him

Islamabad, Pakistan

Tensions rose in Pakistan on Friday when former Prime Minister Imran Khan accused establishment figures of plotting to kill him – a claim strongly denied by government and security officials.

A day after surviving a shooting at a political rally near Gujranwala in Punjab province, Khan gave a frantic speech at a hospital in Lahore, where he is recovering from his injuries. Sitting in a wheelchair, the cricket star-turned-politician said three senior officials were behind the attack.

Dr. Faisal Sultan told reporters that the bullet wounds of the former Pakistani leader in his right leg were broken. Sultan showed X-rays showing a fracture in Khan’s right leg and bullet fragments lodged on both sides of his thigh.

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

Khan initially claimed the trio was responsible for the assassination in a statement shared by senior PTI leader Asad Omar on Thursday, who said he had spoken to Khan recently.

In a televised address on Thursday, Sanaullah denied the charge, calling it “serious”.

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

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“No one will be allowed to defame the institution or its soldiers with impunity. In view of this, the government of Pakistan has been requested to investigate the matter and initiate legal action against those responsible for defamation and false accusations against the institution and its officials without any evidence,” said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). .

Pakistan’s intelligence agency also denied Khan’s claims that a senior intelligence official was behind the shooting, and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) told CNN the allegations were “baseless.”

“This is an attempt to undermine the investigation from the beginning. The organization had already sensitized the federal government about the threat to the former chief minister, who informed the Punjab state government about it,” the statement said.

Former Pakistani leader Imran Khan was photographed at a rally earlier this week.

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

“The firing incident is a security breach on behalf of the Punjab government and cannot be attributed to any person or any security agency. The demand of the time is calm in the country, not for irresponsible statements,” the ISI statement said.

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Khan said he knew the day before of the plan to kill him and claimed that there were two shooters in his attack.

“On one side there was an explosion, on the other side from the front. There were two people,” Khan said while talking about the attack.

Khan has taken a hard line against 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 loss of power.

Thursday’s attack left one person dead and several injured, sparking protests among Khan’s supporters.

In a video of the alleged attack, Khan is seen waving from an open-top truck, sending party members into cover as gunshots rang out.

A bullet hit Khan’s leg, senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar later added, “Yes, he was hit, there are pellets in his leg, a broken bone, and he was also shot in the thigh.”

According to the police, the person suspected of shooting at the protest was detained on Thursday.

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

Khan has called on citizens to protest until the resignation of the three officials he claims planned his attack.

“Until these three men resign, you have to protest, you have to fight injustice, you have to wage jihad against them, jihad means to stand against injustice,” Khan said on Friday.

Khan said he would continue his long march in Islamabad calling for early elections after recovering from the shooting attack. He was on the seventh day of a nationwide tour that began in Lahore on October 28 and was scheduled to end in Islamabad after passing through several cities in Pakistan.

It is one of a series of rallies since the former Pakistan cricket captain was ousted 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 Yousaf Raza Gillani survived an assassination attempt in 2008.


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