Narowal – Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was injured in an assassination on Sunday in Narowal district, his constituency in central Punjab.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader was returning from a meeting with a Christian group in Tehsil Kanjrur when the assailant, identified as Abid Hussain, opened fire on him.
The minister received a bullet in his shoulder and was rushed to District Headquarters Hospital Narowal, from where he was later shifted to Services Hospital in Lahore via air helicopter.
The assailant, aged 20-22, was tackled by PML-N workers on the spot. A 30-bore pistol was seized from the attacker, who was shifted to an undisclosed location for investigation.
Abid is reportedly a resident of Tehsil Kanjrur.
Police, in its initial investigation report, said the bullet injected in Iqbal’s right shoulder caused a bone fracture.
The bullet was removed from Iqbal’s body following an operation, and the minister is said to be conscious and out of danger now.
According to some media reports, the attacker, in his initial statement, has said he attacked Iqbal because of his statements over the change regarding Khatm-e-Nabuwat (PBUH) clause in Election Reform Bill 2017.
Punjab Inspector General of Police Captain (r) Arif Nawaz has taken notice of the incident and sought a report from Narowal DPO.
President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, former defence minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif, Pakistan Peoples’ Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah and leaders of other political and religious parties have strongly condemned the attack on Iqbal.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Naval Chief Admiral Zafar Mehmood Abbasi and other top military brass has also condemned the attack on the federal minister and prayed for his early recovery.