Pakistan: March on Islamabad to resume from Wazirabad – Imran


LAHORE: Former prime minister Imran Khan said he would resume his protest march to Islamabad to force early elections on Tuesday “from the same point in Wazirabad district” where he survived an assassination attempt last week.

He was shot in the leg on Thursday as he waved to crowds from a container mounted on a truck from where he was leading a protest march on the capital. The following day he said he “will give a call to march on Islamabad once I get better”.

Addressing the nation on Sunday from Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Lahore where he was receiving treatment, Khan said his party has decided that “our march will resume on Tuesday from the same [point] in Wazirabad where I and 11 others were shot, and where Moazzam was martyred.”

Khan was discharged from the hospital on Sunday evening after making a good recovery from 1.5-hour long surgery, his doctors said.

Khan said he “will address the march from here [in Lahore], and our march, within the next 10 to 14 days, depending on the speed, will reach Rawalpindi.”

“Once the march reaches Rawalpindi, I’d then join it and lead it myself.” In the meantime, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, vice chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party, will lead the caravan.

Khan was discharged hours after the splinters of one of the bullets he received during an unsuccessful assassination bid were removed from the right leg of the former prime minister, the hospital said.

He was seen off by a medical team at the facility, ARY News reported, before leaving for his residence in the Zaman Park neighbourhood of the provincial metropolis.

The bullet shards — received after the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman was shot at a rally in the Wazirabad district of Punjab — were removed in a surgery.

“There were four fragments of bullet in Imran Khan’s body and shards from the right leg were removed,” the hospital said in a statement. “A splinter of the bullet was not removed from his left leg,” it said.

“The surgery was conducted to remove bullet particles from his body,” the hospital stated. “His condition is rapidly improving,” according to the statement.

Continuing his address, Khan said he welcomed the decision of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to ask the Supreme Court to form a judicial commission on the attack but also said that a free and fair probe cannot take place as those he held responsible control the government.

“Shehbaz Sharif spoke of the judicial commission and I welcome this but my first point is that would it do? When all the agencies come under the three people I’ve named, who will investigate?

“How can we have an impartial and fair investigation? It cant happen. That’s why I asked them to resign so the investigation can be fair.”

Khan was shot on Thursday when his anti-government protest convoy came under attack in the east of the province, in what his aides said was a clear assassination attempt. He wasn’t seriously injured but the incident underlined once again how politics in Pakistan is inseparable from violence.

Khan’s protest march and rallies, which started a week before the attack, were peaceful until the incident.__Pakistan Today