Imran Khan blames Pakistan establishment for plot to assassinate him


Islamabad, Pakistan
CNN

Tensions flared in Pakistan on Friday as former Prime Minister Imran Khan accused militants of plotting his assassination – a claim strongly denied by government and security officials.

A day after he was shot dead at a political rally outside Gujranwala in Punjab province, Khan gave an angry speech at a hospital in Lahore, where he was recuperating from his injuries. While sitting in a wheelchair, the star cricketer-politician mentioned three senior figures who were behind the attack.

Dr. Faisal Sultan told reporters that the former leader of Pakistan suffered a fractured right leg due to injuries from stray bullets. Sultan showed X-rays showing a fracture in Khan’s right leg and bullet fragments on both sides of his thigh.

Without providing evidence, Khan blamed Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rano Sanullah and Major General Faizal, a senior intelligence official. CNN reached out to three people for comment.

Khan first claimed on Thursday that the trio were responsible for the conspiracy, in a statement issued by senior PTI leader Asad Umar, who said he had spoken to Khan recently.

In a televised message on Thursday, Sanaullo denied the accusation and called it “horrific”.

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

“No one has the right to defame the institution and 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 accusation against the institution and its officials without any evidence. .

Pakistan’s intelligence agency also denied Khan’s claim that a senior intelligence official was behind the shooting, with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) telling CNN in a statement that the allegation was “baseless.”

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

The former leader of Pakistan, Imran Khan, was pictured at a rally earlier this week.

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

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

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Khan said that he knew about the assassination attempt a day before and claimed that two gunmen were involved in his attack.

“There was an explosion from one side and another from the front. There were two,” Khan said while talking about the attack.

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

One person was killed in Thursday’s attack, which injured several others and sparked protests by Khan’s supporters.

A video of the alleged attack shows Khan getting out of the truck with his head uncovered as gunfire rang out, sending members of his party for cover.

Khan was shot in the leg, said Pakistan’s top leader Asad Umar, who later added: “Yes, he was shot, there are pellets in his leg, his bone is broken, he was also shot in the thigh.”

According to the police, the man suspected of shooting at the rally on Thursday was arrested.

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

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

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

Khan said that once he recovered from the shooting attack, he would continue his so-called “Long March” to Islamabad calling for early elections. He was on the seventh day of a nationwide tour that began on October 28 in Lahore and was supposed to end in Islamabad after passing through several Pakistani cities.

This is one of the protests that the former Pakistan cricket captain has held since he was sacked in April.

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

Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister, was assassinated on December 27, 2007, and Yusuf Raza Gilani, the then prime minister, survived an assassination attempt in 2008.

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