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Imran Khan to resume march from the same point where he was attacked

November 06, 2022 20:10 IST

Imran Khan on Sunday announced that his party will resume the march to Islamabad from the same spot where he survived an assassination attempt but sustained bullet injuries during a rally in Punjab province, saying he prefers 'death instead of living the life of a slave'.

IMAGE: Former Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses a news conference after he was wounded following a shooting incident during a long march in Wazirabad, at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Lahore, on November 4, 2022. Photograph: Mohsin Raza/Reuters

The 70-year-old former prime minister and chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, who underwent surgery for bullet injuries on Thursday was addressing a press conference from the Shaukat Khanum Hospital owned by his charitable organisation.


"We have decided that our march will resume on Tuesday from the same [point] in Wazirabad where I and 11 others were shot, and where Moazzam was martyred," Khan said.

Khan suffered bullet injuries in the right leg when two gunmen fired a volley of bullets at him and others mounting on a container-mounted truck in the Wazirabad area, where he was leading the march.

PTI worker Moazzam Gondal died due to bullet injuries during the attack on Khan. The rally was suspended after the attack.

"I will address the march from here (in Lahore), and our march, within the next 10 to 14 days, depending on the speed, will reach Rawalpindi," Khan said.

The PTI chief said once the march reaches Rawalpindi, he would then join it and lead it himself.

In a veiled reference to the powerful military establishment, Khan said: "They (military establishment) want to instill fear among us. But let me tell you...we will not budge from our stance and are ready to sacrifice our lives for real freedom. I prefer death instead of living the life of a slave."

A day after the attack on him, Khan alleged that three people -- Prime Minister Shehbaz, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer -- were behind the botched assassination attempt on his life.

The Army has rejected Khan's allegations as 'baseless and irresponsible'.

Questioning whether 'some people' are above the law, the PTI chairman said, "I am facing problems in getting an FIR registered on the firing incident on my container. No Punjab police officer is ready to register an FIR on my complaint. If I, being a former prime minister of Pakistan, cannot get a case registered related to the attack on me, then think what will happen to the common man."

"I want a transparent investigation into the matter. There was a pattern in the attack on me. First, they labelled me a blasphemer and then tried to eliminate me like that of slain Punjab governor Salman Taseer.

"The confessional statement of the suspect was recorded and released (to the media) to cover up the crime. Inspector General Police of Punjab lied that the video record of the suspect was hacked. In fact, they (police officers) are afraid to register FIR as they have orders from them (military establishment)," Khan alleged.

Prime Minister Shehbaz in a press conference in Lahore on Saturday said that Khan's party PTI is in power in the Punjab province and the provincial government should tell why the FIR of the assassination attempt has not been registered so far.

Khan also demanded constitution of a judicial commission to investigate the attack on him, the murder of senior journalist Arshad Sharif, the torture and circulation of obscene video of PTI Senator Azam Swati and the cypher controversy (about toppling of the PTI government at the behest of the United States).

"I wonder if an ISI officer is involved in such dirty acts no action is taken against him. I am surprised at the Director General (Major General Babar Iftikhar) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR)'s statement that the institution is standing with its officers, including the one involved in the attack on me. I want to ask him whether there is no black sheep in any institution," Khan said and questioned the DG ISPR to tell why court martial is needed if army officers do not commit any wrong.

He also urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of all the issues he has raised as the nation is looking up to him for justice.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan's former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said the protest march led by PTI has only been temporarily halted and not called off.

The Awami Muslim League (AML) president also lamented the fact that a first information report (FIR) of the attack on Khan had not been registered despite the passage of three days.

AML was part of the Imran Khan-led PTI government.

M Zulqernain
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