Pakistan’s ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to a huge crowd of supporters on Saturday 26 November in Rawalpindi in his first public appearance after an attempt on his life, urging them to live without fear of death.
While Pakistanis all over the world and other cricket fans were watching a stunning win by the Pakistan cricket team against the yet undefeated South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Thursday night 3 November to keep their T20 World Cup campaign alive, they heard the horrible news of the assassination attempt on Imran Khan.
The former PM of Pakistan and a cricket hero turned highly popular politician, led the Pakistan cricket team to the World Cup victory in 1992 at the same SCG, was shot in the legs when his protest convoy came under attack in Wazirabad, close to Islamabad where one man was killed and up to 10 people injured.
Imran Khan was taken to a hospital in Lahore where he underwent surgery and is recovering in hospital in stable condition while nationwide protests have erupted in the country in his support and bid to call for early elections in Pakistan.
“It was a clear assassination attempt. Khan was hit but he’s stable. There was a lot of bleeding,” Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesman for Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party said.
He further added, “If the shooter had not been stopped by people there, the entire PTI leadership would have been wiped out.”
PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that party chief Imran Khan knew about the plot to “eliminate” him but he still decided to continue the march.
His aids have claimed the attack being a clear assassination attempt by his rivals with Asad Umar saying that Imran believed that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and intelligence official Major-General Faisal Naseer were behind the attack.
Imran’s physician Dr Faisal Sultan told that Imran was in a stable condition and doing fine at the Shaukat Khanum hospital in Lahore and expected to be discharged in a few days.
He further added that PTI officials are meeting with him to discuss the immediate fate of Imran’s campaign march, but Imran has vowed it would continue with the nationwide support for him.
Pakistan cricket captain Babar Azam, currently leading his side at the T20 World Cup in Australia, tweeted from Sydney that he “strongly condemned this heinous attack on PTI leader Imran Khan” while praying “May Allah keep Kaptaan safe and protect our beloved Pakistan, Ameen.”