Imran was taken to hospital soon after and party officials later said he was struck in the right shin and had suffered bone damage from the pellets but that he was in stable condition.
Pakistani TV channels aired footage that amounted to a confession from the alleged gunman who said Imran was the target. Imran, 70, was leading a protest rally on to the capital Islamabad, demanding general elections after he was ousted from power in April this year.
Imran – one of the game’s great allrounders who led Pakistan to their 1992 World Cup win – was standing atop a large container truck with other party officials when shots were fired, forcing them to duck for cover. TV footage in the immediate aftermath showed Imran conscious, with a bandage on his right leg, just above the foot, as he was moved to another vehicle and eventually taken to hospital.
Strongly condemn this heinous attack on @ImranKhanPTI. May Allah keep Kaptaan safe and protect our beloved Pakistan, Ameen.
— Babar Azam (@babarazam258) November 3, 2022
“He is being taken to a hospital in Lahore, but he is not seriously wounded,” Asad Umar, a party leader, told reporters. “A bullet hit him in the leg.”
The attack happened less than a week after Imran began his march from Lahore along with thousands of supporters. Imran was elected prime minister of Pakistan in August 2018. But he faced a no-confidence motion from parliament earlier this year and was forced out, since when he has been leading a series of protest marches.
Deeply disturbed about the events unfolding in Wazirabad . Our prayers with Imran BHAI and everyone there. We as a country must come together and not allow anyone to distort our national unity.
— Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) November 3, 2022
Ireland Women tour to continue as scheduled
Ireland Women are currently in Pakistan, where they are to play three ODIs and three T20Is starting Friday. All six matches are scheduled to be played in Lahore. The tour, pending further developments, is set to continue as scheduled, a Cricket Ireland statement has confirmed.
“Cricket Ireland is aware of an incident involving former Prime Minister Imran Khan that took place approximately 150km outside Lahore, venue of the three ODIs and three T20Is between Ireland Women and Pakistan Women,” the statement said.
“Cricket Ireland is currently liaising with the Pakistan Cricket Board, in-country security advisors and diplomatic services. The PCB Chief Executive Faisal Hasnain has spoken directly with Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom and Team Manager Beth Healy, and provided them with an updated assessment of the on-ground situation.
“Current advice provided to Cricket Ireland is that there will be no change in the threat level as a result of this incident. The Ireland Women’s squad has been briefed, while Cricket Ireland’s security advisors will continue to review procedures and monitor the situation.
“However, presently there are no anticipated changes to the security arrangements and procedures that are already in place for the tour. Updates will be provided if any circumstances change.”