Assassination attempt on Imran a 'facade', claims suspect's lawyer

Naveed Bashir's counsel says Imran, guard behind Moazzam Gondal's killing

Our Correspondent January 05, 2023
The suspect had said he planned to attack Imran ever since the former premier left Lahore and started his long march. SCREENGRAB


The lawyer of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s alleged attacker Naveed Bashir on Thursday claimed that the assassination attempt on the ousted premier was in fact a “self-scripted drama” and a “lie”.

The former prime minister had sustained a bullet wound to his leg on November 3 after an armed attack on his container, as he led the PTI’s ‘Haqeeqi Azadi March’ in Wazirabad.

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One person had died in the incident, while several members of the PTI chairman’s close circle, including Senator Faisal Javaid, former Sindh governor Imran Ismail, Ahmad Chattha and Imran Yousaf, were injured.

Breaking his silence in a video address after the attack, the PTI chairman had alleged that three people – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and a senior military officer, were behind the botched assassination attempt on his life.

The forensic report of the attack, which came to the surface on Tuesday, had revealed that the ex-PM was hit by three bullet fragments and a metal fragment.

“One sealed parcel containing four plastic containers, two deformed bullets (items B8 and B11), one small metallic piece (item B9), and one bullet jacket (item B10) were recovered from the body of Imran Khan,” stated the report, issued by the Punjab Forensic Science Agency.

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According to the report, shots were fired from the left side of the truck in Wazirabad when the march was heading towards Islamabad.

Moreover, the post-mortem report of Moazzam Gondal — the PTI worker who was shot dead in the Azadi March— was also made public.

According to the report, a bullet hit Gondal in the back of the head, crossing through his forehead. The report further revealed that the shot was fired from a height, killing the PTI worker on the spot.

Yesterday, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry had claimed that the joint investigation team (JIT) constituted to probe into the incident had found that by reducing the number of police personnel in Gujarat, an opportunity was provided for the attack and subsequently, an assassination attempt was made at Imran Khan.

“The revelations made in the JIT report will be made public soon,” Fawad had said while speaking to the media. “A well-thought-out narrative was chalked out to give the assassination attempt the cover of a religiously-motivated crime,” he had added.

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Speaking to media at the Lahore Press Club today, Mian Dawood, the lawyer of the accused Naveed Bashir, rejected the PTI’s claims, saying that the attack was instead “a game” set out by the party.

He also lamented “pinning Moazzam’s death on Naveed” and termed it “unjust”.

“Had the JIT investigated the incident in the correct direction, the whole matter would have come out in the open,” he said adding that “Fawad Chaudhry has declared Naveed innocent while according to the forensic agency’s report, Naveed did not kill Moazzam Gondal”.

“The JIT was formed before the FIR was even filed,” the lawyer criticised, claiming that “the Chief Minister [Punjab] had made Ghulam Mehmood Dogar the head of the investigation as per Imran Khan’s wishes”.

He also alleged that the JIT was “not making evidence a part of the record” and that “the video of Moazzam Gondal being shot is not part of the record” while “attempts were made to remove the police official’s statements”.

“The purpose of the JIT is to protect Imran and his guard,” he claimed, “if they would conduct a proper investigation, Imran’s guard would turn out to be the killer”.

The lawyer demanded that Ejaz Chaudhry be made part of the investigation and urged that Imran and his guard be charged with the murder of Gondal.


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