Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan says ‘long march’ to resume Tuesday

Khan made the remarks in a video broadcast from a hospital in Lahore where he was being treated after being shot in the leg during a protest march three days earlier.

Former Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan
Pakistan's ex-PM Imran Khan was targeted by a gunman last week [Mohsin Raza/Reuters]

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said his supporters’ “long march” towards the capital demanding early elections will re-start on Tuesday after it was disrupted by an attempt on his life by a gunman.

Khan made the remarks in a video broadcast live on social media on Sunday from a hospital in the eastern city of Lahore, where he was receiving treatment after being shot in the leg during the protest march three days earlier.

The chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party was later discharged from the health facility.

“Our march will resume on Tuesday from the place in Wazirabad where I and 11 other people were shot, and where Moazzam was martyred,” Khan announced, citing the name of PTI worker Moazzam Gondal, who was killed in the attack.

The 70-year-old said he would not join in person while he recovered from his wounds but will do so when the convoy reaches the city of Rawalpindi.

Khan welcomed the offer by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government to launch a judicial commission to investigate the attack but questioned whether the inquiry would be impartial.

In addition to Sharif, the cricketer-turned-politician has blamed Sharif, interior minister Rana Sanaullah, and a top general of the Pakistan army for attempting to assassinate him, demanding that all three resign. He has provided no evidence to support the accusation.

The government has called Khan’s allegations baseless, saying he was damaging the country with “false and cheap conspiracies”.

Sharif on Saturday ordered the Supreme Court to form a full-court commission to investigate the “grave” accusations.

Khan maintains that his removal from office in a vote of no-confidence in April was part of a “foreign conspiracy” plotted in the United States with the help of the Pakistani opposition parties – a charge repeatedly denied by the government, the powerful Pakistani military and Washington.

Khan has held dozens of rallies across the country since April, demanding snap elections. He was leading a march to Islamabad to press his demands when a gunman opened fire in eastern Punjab’s Wazirabad district.

In the past, he has also accused military officials of custodial torture and harassment of his party workers, which include a senator and his chief of staff.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies