Published: Mon, May 07, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Pakistan minister in 'satisfactory condition' after assassination bid

Pakistan minister in 'satisfactory condition' after assassination bid

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who wounded in an assassination attempt on Sunday in Narowal, is now out of danger, said Ahmed Iqbal, the minister's son.

State Minister for Interior Tallal Chaudry meanwhile, said the suspected shooter was identified as Abid Hussain and has been arrested.

Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif has sought a report from inspector general (IG) Punjab and has directed the authorities to take action against the culprit.

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.

On Sunday, the interior minister was rushed to the District Headquarters Hospital after he the assassination attempt.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto also strongly condemned the coward attack on country's interior minister.

The attacker was arrested and is being questioned, officials said.

Iqbal was shot soon after addressing voters in Kanjroor village in Narowal, his constituency near the border with India, but the exact circumstances were not immediately clear.

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The attack on the minister, just months ahead of the 2018 general elections, needs to be probed, they said, adding that TLP is a peaceful religio-political party that believes in change through political struggle and democratic processes. The Minister was initially taken to a local hospital after which he was flown to Lahore at the Services Hospital.

The bullet grazed Iqbal's arm and lodged itself in his abdomen.

Leading Pakistani politicians condemned the shooting.

Hussain belongs to the religious outfit - Tehreek-e-Labbaik Yarasoolallah Pakistan (TLYP), according to preliminary investigation.

It follows a series of blows to the PML-N, which has been struggling to find its footing since its eponymous leader Nawaz Sharif was ousted by the Supreme Court over graft allegations last summer.

"We are not sure whether it has got anything to do with the motive", the source said.

Considered the brains behind the party's development agenda, he previously headed up the planning ministry. However, it is not known whether there was more than one assailant.

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