Interior minister survives gun attack

by Garry Watts May 10, 2018, 6:47
Interior minister survives gun attack

Ziauddin Yousafzai, the father of Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai, called the attempted assassination a "bad omen for upcoming general elections that are supposed to be free, fair, and transparent".

Meanwhile, Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) issued a statement condemning the attack on the minister and attempted to paint it as some sort of pre-election conspiracy.

According to police, the suspected gunman was identified as 22-year-old Abid Hussain; he remains under arrest and was shifted to an unknown location for police interrogation.

Ahsan Iqbal was sacked on Sunday evening by Abid Hussain, 21, from a 15-yard distance, when the minister was entering his vehicle to leave a rally in his home constituency of Narowal.

The attack against him fuelled speculation that the election could yet be delayed, though newspaper columnist Cyril Almeida said that was unlikely.

Iqbal, 59, a senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, was hit by a bullet on his right shoulder in the attack yesterday after he addressed an election rally in his constituency Narowal.

An earlier notification issued by the provincial police department today had stated that the DIG Investigation Waqas Nazeer would head the five-member JIT.

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Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa condemned the attack.

The Station House Officer of the Shah Gharib Police Station has been suspended for providing inadequate security arrangements to the interior minister, Geo TV reported. "PML-N will not be browbeaten into submission".

Standard opposition chief Imran Khan and his PTI occasion demanded a probe into the assault.

Ahsan Iqbal, however, will be kept under observation in the ICU for 24 hours more. The bullet had fractured an elbow joint of the minister before burrowing into his abdomen, the doctor said.

Iqbal was rushed to a local hospital for surgery and then transferred by helicopter to the Services Institute hospital in Lahore.

Talal Chaudhry, the Minister of State for Inside Affairs, says Inside Minister Ahsan Iqbal was returning to his automotive after a gathering in Narowal district when he got here below assault.

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