What international analysts are writing about the attempt on Imran Khan's life

The news of the assassination attempt didn't just shake Pakistan but made headlines across the globe.
Published November 4, 2022

The news of an assassination attempt on former prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday didn't just shake Pakistan — it made headlines across the globe. A former star cricketer and prominent philanthropist, Imran has been in the international media's eye for decades. His tenure as a first-time premier as well as the dramatic end to it in April was also extensively covered.

The ensuing protests have received international coverage on and off, mostly when Imran amped up his confrontational narrative against the country's powerful establishment.

Read: The stakes could not be higher for Imran Khan, the establishment and Pakistan

On Thursday afternoon, when a suspect standing in front of the container carrying the PTI chief and senior party leaders showered a volley of bullets, injuring Imran and other leaders and killing one worker, the party's ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ was yet again thrust into the global limelight.

Here, Dawn.com looks at the analysis that has been carried by some international publications in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Bloomberg: Imran Khan shooting raises stakes in showdown with Pakistan Army

"The shooting also complicates the calculus for the military establishment, which backed Khan’s rise to power in 2018 before a falling out last year. Any future attacks on Khan, or attempts to deny his participation in the next election, would put the spotlight on generals who prefer to stay in the background while wielding outsized influence over domestic and foreign policy. "

The Guardian: Imran Khan shooting another violent moment in Pakistan’s political history

"Though homicide statistics show a consistent decline, few are convinced that the violence that has marked politics and society in Pakistan for so long is falling. [...] Pakistan may well be one of the most dangerous nations in the world, but more for its own citizens than any foreign observer thousands of miles away."

Washington Post: Pakistan won’t quickly recover from Imran Khan’s shooting

"Clips of the would-be assassin claiming to have acted alone are all over Pakistani media. Yet it is hard to imagine that claim being widely believed in a country already consumed by conspiracy theories. Pakistanis will remember that nobody found out who killed Bhutto and be suspicious of any simple explanation, whether or not it is true. And they will find someone to blame: Already, pro-Khan protesters have vandalized symbols of the military’s power across the country."

Indian Express: Attack on Imran Khan: A turning point in November

"These and many other questions are being posed and examined by analysts of Pakistan affairs in the region and around the world. What a pity that at a time like this the Indian media does not have a single correspondent posted in the country to report directly. While print media offers at least occasionally a professional view of developments in Pakistan, the electronic media has turned Pakistan reporting and analysis into a soap opera, a circus and just propaganda."

Sky News: In Pakistan it seems there are only two ways prime ministers leave office - coups or assassinations

"But he is a national icon. A cricketer turned politician, loved as a hero who brought the World Cup home in 1992, revered as a politician who fights for justice and against corruption [...] Mr Khan's calls for power to the people and his shooting have led to yet more people taking to the streets with the same call. This time in anger."