South Asia

Imran Khan says march on Islamabad to resume Tuesday

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan at a rally on Sunday, August 21. Screenshot from Reuters video.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday that a protest march toward Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, which was suspended after he was shot in an apparent attempt on his life, will resume Tuesday.

Sitting in a wheelchair, his right leg bandaged and elevated, Khan spoke from the Shaukat Khanum hospital, where he was admitted Thursday after the shooting.

He repeated his demand for an investigation into the shooting and the resignation of three powerful personalities in the government and the military whom he alleges were involved in staging the attack on him, the Associated Press reports.

The incident happened in Wazirabad, a district in eastern Punjab province, after a gunman opened fire on Thursday, wounding Khan and killing one of his supporters. At least 13 others were injured. He said the march would pick up again from Wazirabad.

Khan was ousted from office in April in a no-confidence vote in parliament. He organized a march on Islamabad to pressure Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government to hold early elections but Sharif says elections will take place as scheduled, in 2023.

Khan’s protest march, which started Oct. 28, was peaceful until Thursday’s attack. The shooting has raised concerns about growing political instability in Pakistan, which has a history of political violence and assassinations.

Khan said the march will take 10 to 15 days to reach Rawalpindi, where convoys from other parts of the country are expected to join the rally. He said he will keep in touch with the main march participants through a media link and will eventually lead the “sea of people’” toward Islamabad.

The former Pakistani prime minister has accused Shahbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan and army Gen. Faisal Naseer of working with the Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s spy agency, to be behind the shooting on him.

According to him, there were two gunmen who wanted to attack on him during Thursday march in Wazirabad. Khan was discharged from the hospital later Sunday and moved to his ancestral home in Lahore.