ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) central information secretary Rauf Hassan was injured in an attack by unknown persons outside the office of a news channel on Tuesday.

The capital police in a statement said Mr Hassan was attacked with a blade. According to eyewitnesses, he was hit on the face with a blade by a transgender person.

A police spokesman said Mr Hassan was attacked as he came out of the TV channel’s office after appearing in a programme. He was taken to hospital for medical assistance where police also reached to get a medico-legal certificate, he added.

After receiving a complaint and the medico-legal certificate, the police will register a case, said the spokesman.

He said the police had obtained the CCTV footage from the TV channel office along with videos made by people present on the spot from their mobile phones and were examining them. The CCTV footage showed a person interacting with Mr Hassan when he was walking towards the parking area after coming out from the TV office. Shortly, three other persons joined and they attacked Mr Hassan.

Attack condemned

Meanwhile, PTI founder Imran Khan condemned the incident and said the party would not be deterred by such dirty tactics and violence which only served to expose the perpetrators before the nation.

In his message, he said the entire nation knew who were orchestrating these attacks on PTI leadership. “It’s the same powers that lurk in the shadows and use proxies to harass and threaten judges and make a mockery of elections by brazenly tampering results,” he added.

“Let us make it very clear that PTI will not be deterred by such dirty tactics and violence which only serve to expose the perpetrators before the nation,” Mr Khan added.

Former president and senior PTI leader Dr Arif Alvi termed the attack on Mr Hassan a shameful and disgraceful act.

Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Omar Ayub said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was behind the assault. The PTI secretary general said the attack on Mr Hassan was a proof that he was being silenced for speaking the truth.

He asked the Islamabad police chief to apprehend the culprits immediately or resign from his position.

PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan also condemned the attack, demanding an immediate and thorough investigation to bring the culprits to book. He said he visited the hospital to meet Mr Hassan, who sustained three deep wounds on his cheek.

Mr Khan said it could be easily established from the wounds that it was an attack on his life, adding, “Thanks to Allah for giving him a new life.”

He said Mr Hassan had never had any enmity with anyone, which could have led to the attack on him. He condemned the attack and wanted a complete and immediate investigation into the incident to punish the culprits.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2024

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