Gunman shoots, injures Pakistan inside minister

Pakistan's interior minister shot and wounded after public meeting

Labaik's leader, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, condemned the attack on Iqbal and said his party had not authorized anyone to take up arms.

Police arrested a suspect with a pistol that they identified as 21-year-old Abid Hussain.

Iqbal was attending a corner meeting of his party, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), when he was attacked.

Iqbal underwent two consecutive surgeries and has now been shifted to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.

According to the doctors, Iqbal's bone was fractured after a bullet pierced through his right shoulder.

The gunman, the attacker was arrested, his identity and the motive of the crime yet no information is available.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Punjab province police chief Arif Nawaz Khan should immediately submit a report on the incident.


Police are still investigating the attack, but local deputy commissioner Ali Anan Qamar told AFP that the shooter said he was inspired by a controversy past year in which a small amendment to the oath that election candidates must swear had to be hastily reversed after it was linked to blasphemy.

Meanwhile, Senators Mushtaq Ahmed and Anwaar-ul-Haq condemned the assassination attempt on the interior minister and said that such elements would not be allowed to disturb the law and order situation in the country.

According to the police, a suspect has been taken into custody from the spot, who confessed to firing gunshot on the minister over the Khatm-i-Nabuwat issue.

The row sparked a three-week sit-in last November by a previously little-known Islamist group, which paralysed the capital. He is one of the most senior members of the ruling party.

At the time many Pakistanis and analysts warned that a unsafe precedent had been set in which fringe groups could bend the state to their will by citing blasphemy.

PML-N federal ministers have expressed fears that the attack could be a conspiracy to delay the general election in June/July or stop the PML-N from taking part in it.

Hospital administration is also considering to shift Iqbal to Sharif City Medical Complex. He is also the head of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms.

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