Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was shot in the foot during a rally on Thursday, according to a party official, who said the incident was an assassination attempt.
A bullet hit Khan in the foot after a gunman opened fire, senior Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) official Asad Umar said.
The former Pakistani cricket captain was taken from the rally site just outside the town of Gujranwala for treatment in Lahore.
Police said they arrested a man suspected of shooting at the gathering. The suspect was arrested with a 9mm pistol and two empty magazines, police said.
At least one person was killed in the incident, according to Faisal Javed, a senior PTI politician and close Khan ally who suffered head injuries in the attack. The victim’s name has not been released.
In a video statement, Javed, who can be seen sitting while receiving treatment, said: “Please pray for us, for Imran Khan, pray for our colleagues who are seriously injured and pray for our party member who died and is martyred. ”
At least two other people were shot and injured.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who came to power after Khan lost a parliamentary vote of no confidence in April, condemned Thursday’s attack on his political rival on Twitter.
“I condemn the incident of shooting PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the strongest words,” Sharif wrote, adding that he requested an “immediate report on the incident” and will pray for recovery. injuried people.
“Violence should have no place in the politics of our country,” Sharif wrote.
On October 21, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) recommended that Khan be disqualified from holding political office for five years, a move likely to further inflame political tensions in the country.
Reading the recommendation, ECP leader Sikandar Sultan Raja said Khan had been disqualified for being involved in “corrupt practices”.
The commission said its decision was based on the fact that Khan had ‘made false statements’ regarding the declaration of the sale of gifts sent to him by the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Dubai during his tenure – an illegal violation. under the country’s constitution. .
Khan was ousted in a vote of no confidence following allegations of poor governance and economic mismanagement.
Since then, he has repeatedly claimed, without providing any evidence, that the United States orchestrated his ouster. Khan’s allegations became a staple at rallies he held across Pakistan in a bid to return to power.
His claims struck a chord with a young population in a country where anti-American sentiment is high and anti-establishment sentiments are fueled by a growing cost-of-living crisis.
This is not the first time Pakistani politicians have been attacked.
Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007, then Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani survived an assassination attempt in 2008.