Conflicts & War

Former Pakistani President Khan accuses authorities of hindering democracy

Islamabad, Nov 4 (EFE).- Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan accused the country’s intelligence agencies on Friday of interfering in the democratic process.

Khan was wounded Thursday in a shooting during a rally against alleged foreign interference.

“Our own intelligence agencies are not allowing the democratic process to go on,” the former president said in his first public appearance after the attack, which also left one dead and nine others wounded.

From a hospital in the eastern city of Lahore, where he remains hospitalized, Khan accused the country’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and an intelligence officer, Major General Faisal Naseer, of being behind the shooting that almost killed him.

According to Khan, the leaders devised the attack when they realized the number of followers supporting his march, which under the slogan “haqeeqi azadi” (“true freedom”) demanded Sharif’s resignation to hold snap elections in Pakistan.

Sitting on a wheelchair and with his legs bandaged, he demanded the resignation of the three officials so that a free and fair investigation could be carried out.

He also called on Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa to take action against Naseer to protect the dignity of the institution. “If you don’t take action against the black sheep, the nation (…) will start breaking apart,” he warned.

The former prime minister claimed that four other people had planned to kill him when he was ousted from power last April and that he recorded a video naming the accused to be released in case anything should happen to him in the future.

Following yesterday’s attack during a crowded march through the city of Wazirabad, Khan vowed that he will again “take to the streets” to continue the protests as soon as he recovers.

Khan was hit by four bullets after he was hit by two rounds from two different angles while addressing his supporters.

“It was a comprehensive plan to assassinate me and we are going to uncover it,” he dug in.

The attack on Khan sparked numerous protests in various parts of the Asian country in the hours after the shooting.

In response to the accusations of murder of Khan and his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Interior Minister denied that he had anything to do with the attack during a press conference and said that the Pakistani government will launch a high-level investigation to clarify what happened.

The Pakistan Army’s communications office (ISPR) issued a statement calling Khan’s “unfounded and irresponsible” accusations “unacceptable and uncalled for”.

“The baseless allegations hurled against the institution/officials today are highly regrettable and strongly condemned. No one will be allowed to undermine the institution or its soldiers with impunity,” the brief stressed.

Khan began the march last Friday from the eastern city of Lahore to Islamabad under the slogan “true freedom” and with the demand for early elections, after his mandate came to an end prematurely this year following a no-confidence motion promoted by the current government. EFE


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