Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal Shot at, Injured During Election Rally in Hometown

“…this is a clear effort to delay the coming elections,” tweeted journalist Hamid Mir, according to the Newsweek.

May 6, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Federal Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal was attacked in Punjab’s Narowal district– his home town on Sunday evening, Express News reported.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader was attacked during the party’s corner meeting in Qasba Kanjrod area of the town.

The incident took place when Iqbal, 59, was leaving the corner meeting, being held at MPA Rana Manan’s residence. Police said the minister received two bullets to his arm.

Iqbal has been airlifted in a Punjab government helicopter to Lahore’s Services Hospital.

The attacker has been identified as 21-year-old Abid Hussain, who has been shifted to an undisclosed location. He is said to be a resident of Narowal.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif described it as an “assassination attempt”, Dawn News reported.

“Those who indulged in this heinous act will be brought to justice. PML-N will not be browbeaten into submission,” tweeted Sharif.

The suspected attack on Iqbal comes as the ruling party is struggling to regain its footing ahead of the coming general elections after a series of blows to its top leaders.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was deposed by the Supreme Court last year over graft allegations and has been banned from politics for life, while foreign minister Khawaja Asif was also removed by the court late last month for violating election laws.

The shooting is likely to increase political tensions before general elections expected in late July.

“Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal survived assassination attempt in Narowal he received a bullet on his arm he is injured but out of danger this is a clear effort to delay the coming elections,” tweeted journalist Hamid Mir, according to the Newsweek.

Iqbal took charge of the interior ministry last year and has been in the cabinet since Shahid Khakan Abbasi became the PM. He is also the minister for planning, development and reforms– the ministry is overseeing China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and several major initiatives in the country.

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