Shooting of former Pakistani PM Imran Khan sparks outrage

Violence doesn’t belong in politics or protests, Pakistani and foreign leaders say after Khan wounded in leg.

Supporters of Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan, take part in a protest.
Supporters of Khan protest in Peshawar, Pakistan following the shooting [Abdul Majeed/AFP]

The shooting of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday has been condemned as “heinous” as leaders in Pakistan and abroad said violence has no place in politics.

Khan was in stable condition after being shot in the leg at a political rally. He had been leading a march since Friday from Lahore to Islamabad, campaigning for fresh elections after being forced from office in April.

Several in his convoy were wounded in the attack in Wazirabad, nearly 200km (120 miles) southeast of the capital.

Prominent Pakistani and foreign figures were quick to condemn the shooting.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif ordered an immediate investigation.

“I strongly condemn the firing at Imran Khan’s rally,” he said. “An immediate report of the incident has been sought from the interior minister.”

“We pray for the speedy recovery of Imran and others injured. The federation will provide all possible support to the Punjab government in the security/investigation of the incident. Violence should have no place in national politics.”

Pakistani President Arif Alvi

In a tweet, Pakistan’s president, Arif Alvi, called the shooting “a heinous assassination attempt” and said he “sought immediate reports from authorities”.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party

Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesman for Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, told the Reuters news agency: “It was a clear assassination attempt. Khan was hit, but he’s stable. There was a lot of bleeding.

“If the shooter had not been stopped by people there, the entire PTI leadership would have been wiped out.”

United States

“The United States strongly condemns the attack on Imran Khan and his supporters and hopes for the swift recovery of all who were injured,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.


“The attack on Imran Khan and his supporters is completely unacceptable, and I strongly condemn this violence,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

“It has no place in politics, in any democracy or in our society. I’m wishing a speedy recovery to Imran and all who were injured today.

Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winner

“Attacks on leaders of any political belief or party are always wrong,” Novel laureatte Malala Yousafzai said. “And violence is never an acceptable protest. Wishing Imran Khan a full recovery.”

Babar Azam, Pakistan cricket captain

Babar Azam strongly condemned the “heinous” attack on his fellow captain of Pakistan’s national cricket team.

“May Allah keep [captain] safe and protect our beloved Pakistan,” he said on Twitter.

Wasim Akram, former Pakistan cricket captain 

“Deeply disturbed about the events unfolding in Wazirabad,” cricketer Wasim Akram said on Twitter.

“Our prayers with Imran Khan and everyone there,” he said. “We as a country must come together and not allow anyone to distort our national unity.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies