Imran Khan blames Pakistan establishment for plot to assassinate him
Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday blamed establishment figures for a plot to kill him, saying unnamed agencies were undermining democracy in the country.
A day after after he survived a shooting at a political rally outside the town of Gujranwala, Punjab province, Khan gave a rambling speech at a hospital in the city of Lahore where he was recovering from the injuries he sustained. While sitting in a wheelchair, the cricket star-turned-politician cited three senior figures as being behind the attack.
The former Pakistan leader sustained a fracture to his right leg due to stray bullet wounds, Dr. Faisal Sultan told reporters. Sultan displayed X-rays showing the fracture in Khan’s right leg, and bullet fragments that were lodged in two sides of his thigh.
Without offering evidence, Khan blamed Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif, interior minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal, who is a senior intelligence official. CNN is reaching out to the three men for comment.
Khan first alleged the trio on Thursday of being responsible for the plot, in a statement shared by PTI senior leader Asad Umar, who said he had recently spoke to Khan. In a televised address on Thursday, Sanaullah called Khan’s allegations “grievous.”
Khan said he knew about the plot to kill him a day before it happened. He also claimed that “agencies were not letting democracy function in Pakistan.”
One person died in Thursday’s attack which injured several others and prompted protests among Khan’s supporters.
Video of the alleged attack shows Khan waving from an open-topped truck, when shots rang out, sending his party members ducking for cover.
A bullet hit Khan in the leg, said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Asad Umar, who later added: “Yes, he has been shot, there are pellets lodged in his leg, his bone has been chipped, he has also been shot in his thigh.”
A man suspected of firing shots at the rally was detained on Thursday, according to police.
Khan called on citizens to protest against the three officials he alleges planned his attack until they resign.
“As long as these three men don’t resign, you have to protest, against unfairness, you must do a jihad against them, jihad means to stand against injustice,” Khan said Friday.
Khan said as soon as 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 started in Lahore on October 28 and was due to finish in Islamabad after winding through several Pakistani cities.
It’s among a number of rallies the former Pakistani cricket captain has held since his dramatic ouster as Prime Minister in a no-confidence vote in April. During that time, he’s repeatedly claimed, without any evidence, that the United States was behind his loss of power.