LAHORE/ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: The attack on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan’s container in Wazirabad on Thursday afternoon was widely condemned across party lines.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took to Twitter to announce the federal government’s full support to provincial authorities for security and investigation.
“I condemn the incident of firing on PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the strongest words. I have directed the Interior Minister for an immediate report on the incident. I pray for the recovery and health of the PTI chairman & other injured people.
“Violence should have no place in our country’s politics,” the prime minister said in another tweet.
Shehbaz extends full support to provincial govt for probe; Canadian PM says such attacks have no place in any democratic society
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz also condemned the attack in separate tweets and prayed for the recovery of the injured.
Foreign Minister and PPP chairperson also posted: “Strongly condemn the attack on [Imran Khan]. Praying for his swift recovery.”
Former president Asif Ali Zardari condemned the incident and prayed for the speedy recovery of Mr Khan and others who sustained bullet injuries. He also called for a thorough probe into the incident.
Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman tweeted “Strongly and unequivocally condemn the firing incident on the PTI truck today. We have always maintained that democracy allows for peaceful protest. Violent attacks are absolutely unacceptable. Hope everyone recovers well”.
Former Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani has strongly condemned the firing on the Chairman, PTI, Mr Imran Khan and the growing trend of violence in politics. He has prayed for the early recovery of Mr Khan and Senator Faisal Javed.
Opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz Sharif condemned the attack on Imran Khan’s container and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured. He also demanded that the Punjab government should review the security arrangements it had made for the long march.
Sindh governor Kamran Khan Tessori and chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also issued separate statements condemning the attack. Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) in a statement also condemned the attack and questioned performance of the local security administration.
Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman, the Karachi chief of Jamaat e Islami and Mustafa Kamal of Pak-Sarzameen Party while condemning the attack demanded thorough investigation into the incident.
Maulana Anas Noorani of Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan-Noorani, Afaq Ahmed of Mohajir Qaumi Movement and Dr Farooq Sattar of MQM Restoration Committee also condemned the attack on Imran Khan.
Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo also expressed deep sorrow over the incident. In a statement, Mr Bizenjo said violence was not in the interest of the country. He also expressed hopes the elements involved in firing would be brought to justice.
Messages of condemnation also poured in from across the world, with several world leaders and notable personalities condemning the attack and expressing concern for Mr Khan’s safety.
In a message, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “The United States strongly condemns the shooting of former prime minister Imran Khan and others at a political rally. We wish Imran Khan and all others who were injured a quick and thorough recovery.”
The US official reiterated that violence has no place in politics and called on all parties to refrain from violence.
“The US is deeply committed to a democratic and peaceful Pakistan and we stand with the Pakistani people,” he said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the attack and called it “unacceptable”.
“The attack on [Imran Khan] and his supporters is completely unacceptable, and I strongly condemn this violence. It has no place in politics, in any democracy, or in our society. I’m wishing a speedy recovery to Imran and all who were injured today,” he tweeted.
UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly tweeted: “Shocking attack on [Imran Khan] in Pakistan which has left one person dead. My thoughts are with all those affected. There is no space for violence in politics.”
Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai, in a tweet, said, “Attacks on leaders of any political belief or party are always wrong. And violence is never an acceptable protest. Wishing Imran Khan a full recovery.”
The European Union also called the attack “unacceptable and horrifying”.
Imran Ayub in Karachi, Iftikhar A. Khan in Islamabad and Amjad Mahmood in Lahore contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2022