The ex-governor who was sitting close to the ex-prime minister when Imran Khan was attacked claims the perpetrator used an AK-47.

ISLAMABAD: A person identified as Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf supporter Muazzam Nawaz was killed and six others, including senior party functionaries Ahmed Chattha and Chaudhry Yousuf, were injured in the shooting at Allah Wala Chowk by a lone gunman at former Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s long march in Wazirabad. The assailant, who was promptly overpowered and whisked away, said in a purported confessional video recorded in custody that he was on a mission to assassinate Imran as the latter had been “misguiding the people”. “I wanted to kill him. I tried to kill him,” the arrested man is heard saying in the clip in response to a question from the police.TV stations aired footage showing a conscious Imran with a bandaged leg being escorted into a black SUV after the attack. He was moved to Lahore’s Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, named after his mother, and taken for surgery to remove the bullets in his leg, said Dr Faisal Sultan.PTI secretary general said Imran suspected three people —PM Shehbaz Sharif, interior minister Rana Sanaullah and asenior military officer (Maj Gen Faisal Naseer of the ISI) —to be behind the assassination attempt on him. The lawmaker quoted Imran as saying all three must be removed from their posts, failing which PTI would lead countrywide protests. PTI supporters protested outside the residence of the Peshawar corps commander soon after, chanting antimilitary slogans. In Lahore, hundreds of protesters gathered at Liberty Chowk, the starting point of the long march. Quetta, Karachi and several other cities erupted in protest.PM Sharifcondemned the attack “in the strongest words” and asked for “an immediate report” on the incident. “Violence should have no place in our country’s politics,” he tweeted. President Arif Alvi called the incident “a heinous assassination attempt” while the Inter-Services Public Relations, the military’s media wing, termed it“highly condemnable”.Former Sindh governor Imran Ismail said he was standing next to the ex-PM when the attacker appeared in front of the container, brandishing an AK-47 rifle. Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry termed the attack a “wellplanned” assassination attempt. “It wasn’t a 9mm (pistol) that the attacker used; it was a burst from an automatic weapon. No two opinions about that. It was a narrow escape,” he said. “If the shooter hadn’t been stopped by people there, the entire PTI leadership would have been wiped out. ”Pakistan has had a history of attacks on politicians in public. Former PM Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007 in a gun and bomb attack following an election rally in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. Pakistan’s first PM Liaquat Ali Khan had been assassinated in the same city in October 1951. Another former PM, Yousaf Raza Gillani, survived an attempt on his life in 2008. Benazir’s father and ex-PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged in Rawalpindi in 1979 after being ousted in a coup.

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