PTI leader and former federal minister Asad Umar on Thursday said party chief and deposed premier Imran Khan had named three suspects, who he believed were behind the gun attack on the long march while it was in Punjab’s Wazirabad.
Umar issued a video statement, accompanied by a fellow party member and provincial minister Aslam Iqbal, wherein he disclosed that both of them had a conversation with Imran after the attack and the PTI chief revealed that he already had information about it.
The former minister said the PTI chief was certain that the men who had planned the attack were Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer.
He demanded that these three men should be ousted from their posts.
“We are waiting for Imran Khan’s nod. If these three people aren’t removed from their positions, there will be countrywide protests,” he warned.
“Pakistan simply cannot continue to function like this,” Umar quoted his party chief as saying.
He added that the PTI chief’s message was intended for the entire nation.
Umar said he had spoken with the doctors treating Imran and his condition was stable.
He added that as the PTI chief had suffered bullet wounds to his leg, there could be two or three pellets lodged inside his body, especially the bone.
However, he said the doctors had carried out CT scans of Imran’s leg and said he was out of danger.
Umar maintained that any doubts about the PTI chairman’s repeated claim that he would even sacrifice his life for Pakistan’s “actual freedom” should be laid to rest after the assassination attempt.
The former minister said a couple of days ago he had a discussion with the PTI chief about the security threats to the long march.
He added that Imran had replied that he realised the dangers but this was a jihad and the Almighty would protect them.
Speaking on the occasion, Punjab minister Aslam Iqbal said that the party would have the three suspects named by Imran booked.
He added that they would approach the Islamabad police chief for this purpose.
The PTI leader said the Punjab chief minister had announced forming a joint investigation team to probe this “cowardly” attack.
Addressing the charged participants of the long march right after the gunshots were fired on Imran and other leaders, PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry termed the assassination attempt an attack on the people of Pakistan.
“It was not an attack on Imran Khan but a strike on Pakistan. It's not happening in Pakistan for the first time that an attempt was made to remove the most popular leader of the country,” he added.
In a very high sentimental state, Fawad went on to say that his party would avenge this assassination attempt.
He asked the participants of the long march to pledge that they would avenge the attack on their leader.
“Today, the blood of our leader and children has fallen. Our leader is attacked with guns. Whoever is behind this gruesome crime should keep in mind that we will take revenge,” he said.
Fawad said several senior leaders of the PTI had been injured in the attack.
He added that the attacker had aimed at Imran but luckily a PTI activist foiled his bid by attacking the gunman and saved life of the party chief.
“Time has come to fulfil the obligation of your oath,” he told the marchers and asked them to take to the streets for the “real freedom” of Pakistan.
Separately, Fawad tweeted that the attack was a "well-planned assassination attempt".
He claimed that the plan was to kill Imran and the leadership of the party. Rubbishing conflicting reports, he claimed that the weapon used was not of a 9mm caliber, but “was a burst from an automatic weapon” and that it “was a narrow escape”.
Former Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said he was standing next to the PTI chairman when the attack occurred.
He maintained that the bullets were fired from an AK-47 rifle.
“It was not an attempt to scare Imran Khan but to assassinate him,” he added.
He said if the attackers thought they could threaten Imran through such “cowardly” attacks, they were living in a fool's paradise.
“They should know that not even a single player of Imran’s team would be scared because of these cowardly attempts,” he claimed.
Ismail announced that the “Haqeeqi Azadi March: would not conclude at this stage.
“We will wait for Imran’s call and continue our journey for real independence,” he said.
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