Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was shot and wounded during his anti-government protest march on Thursday, has said he will be back on the streets once he recovers fully.
“As soon as I get well, I have decided to take to the streets and will give the call for Islamabad,” Khan told a press conference from a hospital in Lahore on Friday.
🚨 Straight call for Islamabad, as soon as I get out of the hospital, Imran Khan.
— Ihtisham Ul Haq (@iihtishamm) November 4, 2022
He urged his supporters to continue protests until the officials he has accused of being involved in the attack on him in the Wazirabad district of eastern Punjab province resign.
He has accused Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and a senior intelligence official of being involved in the attack.
To ensure an impartial and fair probe it was necessary for the three officials to step down, Khan said.
The former cricket star had been leading a convoy of thousands since last week from the city of Lahore toward the capital Islamabad, calling for fresh elections.
He was wounded in the leg when shots were fired at him and other officials standing on the top of a modified container truck.
Read more: Imran Khan injured in assassination attempt
“Allah has given me a new life. I assure you that I will continue my fight … get ready for my call,” he said.
Khan, the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said: “Four people made a decision behind closed doors to kill me and I had told the nation beforehand. That’s why I had recorded a video naming all four.”
A calculated plot
Khan said two shooters were involved in the attack on him during the “long march,” and two bursts were fired from two different directions when he was on the container.
2nd shooter weapon firing on Imran Khan: Hear the firing sound in this video carefully. After the 3rd bullet in the 1st burst another heavier burst of suppressed fire kicks in (this is called overlapping fire) and goes till the end followed by 2 seperate pistol round shots. pic.twitter.com/yWUgAMjDgD
— Omar Ayub Khan (@OmarAyubKhan) November 5, 2022
“It was not an instant plan. It was a calculated plot orchestrated by those who wanted to get me killed,” he said.
In a confession video, the suspect arrested by the police said he attacked Khan because “he is misleading the people” and had acted alone.
The former premier, who has called for early elections since his ouster in a parliament no-confidence vote in April, warned that the nation had finally stood up and now has two paths before it: a peaceful or a bloody revolution.
Sharif’s government says there would be no early vote, and the next elections will be held as scheduled, in late 2023.
He censured the coalition government for “suppressing peaceful protests” and also criticized intelligence officials for the alleged torture of his senior party leaders Azam Swati and Shahbaz Gill.
He appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan for “justice” and asked the country’s army chief to “wake up” and take action against “black sheep” in the institution.
The former premier also criticized the Election Commission of Pakistan, which last month disqualified him for not disclosing transactions related to official gifts he received as a prime minister.
Since his ouster, Khan has held a series of anti-government rallies for “real freedom,” and has alleged that he was removed in a US-sponsored conspiracy. The coalition government and Washington have denied the claims.
Army, government reject allegations
Pakistan’s army responded to Khan’s claims, saying “the baseless and irresponsible allegations” against the institution and a senior army officer are “absolutely unacceptable and uncalled for.”
In a statement, the army’s media wing said the allegations are “highly regrettable and strongly condemned,” adding: “No one will be allowed to defame the institution or its soldiers with impunity.”
ISPR issues a strong statement, rebutting Imran Khan’s allegations against DGC Maj Gen Faisal Naseer, specifically, and the army, in general. Asks govt to initiate legal action for defamation
— Salman Masood (@salmanmasood) November 4, 2022
It requested the government to investigate the matter and initiate legal action against those responsible for defamation and false accusations against the institution.
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb also rejected Khan’s statements as “lies” and a “concocted story.”
Anadolu story with additional input by Global Village Space news desk.