Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan was shot in the foot at a rally on Thursday, according to a party official, who said the incident was an assassination attempt.
A bullet hit Khan in his foot after a gunman opened fire, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Asad Umar said.
The former Pakistan cricket captain was taken from the protest site just outside the city of Gujranwala to receive treatment in Lahore.
Police said they arrested a man suspected of firing shots at the demonstration. The male suspect was arrested with a 9 mm handgun and two empty magazines, police said.
At least one person was killed in the incident, according to Faisal Javed, a senior PTI politician and a close ally of Khan who received a head injury 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 seriously injured co-workers and pray for our party member who he died and was martyred.”
At least two other people were injured in the fire.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who came to power after Khan lost a parliamentary no-confidence vote in April, condemned Thursday’s attack on his political rival on Twitter.
“I condemn the firing incident on PTI chairman Imran Khan in the strongest terms,” Sharif wrote, adding that he demanded an “immediate report on the incident” and prayed for the recovery of the injured.
“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 political office for five years, a move that is likely to further inflame political tensions in the country.
While reading out the recommendation, ECP chief Sikandar Sultan Raja claimed that Khan was disqualified for being involved in “corrupt practices”.
The commission said its decision was based on the grounds 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 while he was in the his office – a crime that is illegal under the country’s constitution. .
Khan was defeated in a vote of no confidence following claims of poor governance and economic mismanagement.
Since then he has repeatedly said, without providing any proof, that the United States had orchestrated his ouster. Khan’s allegations became the basis of demonstrations that he held throughout Pakistan in an attempt to return to power.
His claims have struck a chord with a young population in a country where anti-American sentiment is high, and anti-establishment sentiment is 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 27 December 2007, and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani survived an assassination attempt in 2008.