Pakistan Long March To Resume As Wounded Khan Wins Sympathy

Lahore- Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party is all set to resume its stalled long march on Thursday from Wazirabad area of Punjab province where an assassination attempt was made on the former prime minister last week.

Khan, 70, suffered bullet injuries in the right leg when two gunmen fired a volley of bullets at him and others standing on a container-mounted truck in the Wazirabad area, where he was leading the march last week.

He underwent surgery for bullet injuries at the Shaukat Khanum Hospital owned by his charitable organisation. He is advised to take rest for four to six weeks by doctors.

The long march was suspended following the attack on Khan.

Khan, who is recovering from his injuries, had announced resumption of the long march on Tuesday but later the party changed the decision and rescheduled it for Thursday. He would join the long march in Rawalpindi when it reaches there in 10 to 14 days.

“PTI vice-chairman and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will lead the march from Wazirabad on Thursday at 2 pm (local time),” PTI Punjab leader and health minister Dr Yasmin Rashid told PTI on Wednesday.

“The long march will resume with prayers for those killed and injured in the shooting. A sea of people will reach Islamabad to push the coalition government of 13 parties led by PML-N to announce the date for early elections,” she said.

One person was killed and 11 others, including Khan, were injured in the attack during the long march.

Punjab police on Tuesday registered an FIR over the failed assassination bid on Khan, a day after the Supreme Court ordered the provincial police chief to register the case within 24 hours or face suo motu action.

The FIR named the assailant, Naveed Mohammad Basheer, as the prime accused in Thursday’s attack and booked him under the Anti-Terrorism Act. However, it did not mention the names of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer – three people who Khan had accused of hatching a plot to assassinate him.

Khan has expressed displeasure over the registration of the FIR regarding the attack on him as it did not have the names of the suspects he had named.

Commenting on the case, Khan said that his lawyers would give his position on the “farcical FIR”.

Khan also said that his party’s doors were open to “all democratic loving forces”.

“For the future of Pakistan the doors of PTI are open to all democratic loving forces to join our struggle for Justice, rule of law and freedom from foreign subservience – our goal of Haqeeqi Azadi,” he tweeted.

He said that the statement of the suspect, who opened fire at him and his other party men in Wazirabad, “is a pack of lies”.

Khan said he will disclose the name of the second officer who was sitting with Maj General Faisal in the control room from around 12 noon to 5 pm monitoring the execution of the plot.

Khan, who was ousted as prime minister in april this year after a no-confidence motion was passed in the National Assembly, is seeking fresh general elections in Pakistan.

However, the federal government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is opposed to holding elections now. The term of the current National Assembly will end in August 2023.

The political turmoil in Pakistan comes as it reels from the economic crisis and the effects of devastating floods.

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