Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was injured during an assassination attempt at a corner meeting in his constituency Narowal here on Sunday.
The assailant Abid Hussain, 21, shot at the interior minister from a distance of 15 yards as the latter entered his vehicle to leave the rally ground in tehsil Kanjrur, confirmed DPO Imran Kishwar. Abid is reportedly a resident of Narowal.
An initial report issued by the police said Iqbal’s bone was fractured after he received a bullet in his right shoulder. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi “strongly condemned” the attack and called for an immediate report into the incident by Punjab’s chief of police.
Workers of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), standing near the assailant, tackled the man after he opened fire at Iqbal, said Punjab Government Spokesperson Malik Ahmed Khan. He further said the suspect was stopped from firing a second shot.
One of the shooter has been arrested and being interrogated by the police. Ahsan Iqbal is being treated at DHQ hospital Narowal.
— Punjab 2013-18 (@Punjab13to18) May 6, 2018
A 30-bore pistol was recovered from the arrested suspect, confirmed DPO Kishwar. A senior government source told Reuters news agency early information suggested Mr Iqbal had been returning from a meeting with a Christian group.
“We are not sure whether it has got anything to do with the motive,” the source said. “We will know only after investigation of the attacker.”
Strongly condemn the assassination attempt on my friend Ahsan Iqbal… Just spoke to him & he is in high spirits MashaAllah … Those who indulged in this heinous act will be brought to justice… PMLN will not be browbeaten into submission… Prayers for quick recovery!! -ss
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) May 6, 2018
Strongly condemn attack on Ahsan Iqbal today.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 6, 2018
Strongly condemn the incident of firing on Ahsan Iqbal. I hope his injury is a minor one and he recovers quickly. May Allah keep us all safe whatever our personal political beliefs .
— Jahangir Khan Tareen (@JahangirKTareen) May 6, 2018
— PPP (@MediaCellPPP) May 6, 2018
— US Embassy Islamabad (@usembislamabad) May 6, 2018
Mr Iqbal was shot in the right arm, Punjab government spokesman Malik Ahmed Khan told AFP news agency.
“The attacker was about to fire a second shot when police and people in the meeting overpowered him,” he said.