Item in Washington Post
Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan addresses supporters at a rally in Lahore, Pakistan, on April 21. He was forced from office by a parliamentary vote of no confidence on April 10. (Mohsin Raza/Reuters)
“Khan was hit in the foot, but his condition is stable,” Asad Umar, a senior leader of Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, told the local Pakistani broadcaster ARY News.
Video footage of the attack released by Khan’s office showed party leaders atop a bus ducking for cover as a burst of shots rang out over music playing from the crowd.
Umar said Khan was moved to Lahore for medical treatment. “Five to six other party leaders, who were atop of a truck with Khan, were also injured. One person is in serious condition,” he said.
Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote this year but has since been building popular support across the country with large rallies slamming government officials as corrupt and foreign puppets.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the shooting in a statement Thursday and ordered an investigation.
Khan has come under increasing pressure from the Pakistani government as his popular protest movement shows no signs of diminishing.
A number of legal cases have been filed against the former leader, including one under Pakistan’s anti-terrorism law. On Friday, Pakistan’s spy chief made a rare public statement accusing Khan of asking the military for “illegal and unconstitutional” support.
Lt. Gen. Nadeem Anjum, who rarely appears in public, announced the accusations at a heated news conference. He said Khan asked the military for favors during his time in power, but did not specify what Khan requested.
Khan’s party denied any wrongdoing.
Pakistan’s military is considered the most powerful force in the country, but senior leaders of the security forces rarely weigh in on politics publicly.
By Susannah George …………….George reported from Kabul.