LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif asked Punjab police on Thursday to investigate a car crash on motorway which left former special assistant to the prime minister and senior PTI leader Shahbaz Gill injured near the Khanqah Dogran interchange in Hafizabad district.

On way to Islamabad from Lahore, Gill described it a murder attempt on his life.

“I want to tell those who attacked me, I am alive because of the Almighty and the prayers of my people. My car was chased and deliberately hit. This was done under a plan.”

Punjab Inspector General of Police Rao Sardar Ali Khan confirmed to Dawn police officers had been assigned the task to trace the suspected hit-and-run car.

Motorway police DIG Malik Yousuf told this reporter that Shahbaz Gill and three other riders suffered minor injuries when their car overturned.

He said the motorway police responded within three minutes of the accident.

“We are now waiting for a written application from Shahbaz Gill to refer the case to the local police for investigation into alleged murder attempt,” Mr Yousuf said.

To a question about possible violation of speed limit by Mr Gill’s driver, he said no cameras had been installed on the M-2 (Motorway) to record the accident in-question.

The video clips and some photos of the incident appearing on social media showed all the four men, including Shahbaz Gill, standing near the partially-damaged car.

Quoting Gill, another senior police officer said a white Toyota Yaris hit his car from behind and then sped away.

He said the motorway police managed to obtain the record of the suspected car (as per the registration number shared by Mr Gill) from the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department which showed its owner belonged to Bahawalnagar district whereas its colour was blue.

A Punjab police spokesperson said Gill, his driver and two other occupants sustained minor injuries since they had their seat belts fastened. He said Gill’s political secretary sustained multiple injuries and was shifted to a local hospital as he did not use the seat belt.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2022

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