May 20, 2018

Senators condemn assassination attempt on Ahsan Iqbal

08 May 2018, 01:09 | Rufus Hill

Ahsan Iqbal

Pakistan interior minister shot at in suspected assassination bid Police

Pakistan's Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who recently survived an apparent assassination attempt, is now in a satisfactory condition, according to the hospital authorities.

Talal Chaudhry, the Minister of State for Interior Affairs, says Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was returning to his vehicle after a meeting in Narowal district when he came under attack.

"Allah Almighty has been very kind, we request all friends and wellwishers to remember me in special prayers", Iqbal said later in his first tweet from his official account since he came under attack.

Iqbal took charge of the interior ministry a year ago and has been in the cabinet since Abbasi's Muslim League-Nawaz party (PML-N) came to power in 2013. He was initially taken to District Headquarters Hospital Narowal after the attack but was airlifted to Lahore to receive additional medical treatment, family sources told Dawn. Mr Hussain was taken into custody.

Amidst criticism of the accord reached with the protesters, Interior Minister Iqbal had said that while the agreement that ended the Faizabad sit-in had not been "desirable", the government had been left with little choice in the matter.

"The attacker was about to fire a second shot when police and people in the meeting overpowered him", he said.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also condemned the attack.

Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, former President Asif Ali Zardari, opposition leader and Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Imran Khan, Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Senator Sirajul Haq, and other Pakistani political party leaders also strongly condemned the attack and prayed for Iqbal's early recovery.

Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini condemned murder attempt on interior minister and urged all political forces to show unity to eliminate terrorism from the country. The suspect then claimed that he committed the act because he was upset with the PML-N government over the change to the offending clause in the Constitution.

The party, now being headed by Shehbaz, has been struggling to find its footing since Nawaz was ousted by the Supreme Court over graft allegations last summer. Security analyst Amir Rana told AFP the shooting of the minister nominally in charge of security in a country that has long grappled with militancy was a "serious" development.

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