Imran Khan vows to resume march across Pakistan in first address after being shot

Imran Khan vows to resume march across Pakistan in first address after being shot

Imran Khan said he has information that people had planned to assassinate him, as he vowed to resume his protest march in his first address after being shot.

The ousted Pakistan prime minister described being shot four times, with two bullets hitting each of his legs when he was targeted on Thursday while he was leading a rally in the eastern city of Wazirabad.

One person was killed and at least five others, including Mr Khan, were injured after gunfire hit their vehicle.

On Friday afternoon, 70-year-old Mr Khan gave an address to say he knew that four people had been planning an attempt on his life for some time. He added that the shooting in Wazirabad was the plan conducted by a group of three and that there were two shooters.

Supporters of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's party, 'Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf' throw stones toward police officers to condemn the shooting (AP)
Supporters of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's party, 'Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf' throw stones toward police officers to condemn the shooting (AP)

A medic confirmed there was a fracture on Mr Khan's right leg and that near the main artery there were some bullet fragments. The politician is expected to remain for further treatment but gave his address while sitting up in a chair, albeit wearing a hospital gown.

An eyewitness to the attack told reporters: "It all started when [Mr] Khan was leading the rally and all of a sudden there were gunshots heard and the moment we all realised there was a person seen with a pistol.”

Video footage showed a bandaged Mr Khan getting into a car which was then driven to a hospital in Lahore for treatment to the bullet wound to his shin.

Mr Khan, who is the former captain of his country’s cricket team, told reporters that 11 people in total were hit by bullets.

“Once I recover, I will once again come onto the streets,” he said.

"I will give a call to march on Islamabad once I get better," he added.

The rally had been intended as a march from Wazirabad to capital Islamabad to demand elections earlier than the government’s promise of next year. The march started in Lahore and was into its sixth day when the shooting happened. The former prime minister has pledged to continue the march once he has recovered.

He added: "I've been on the road for six months now, what I've seen I'm confident that I will be able to direct it through elections. I will be able to direct this through elections and bring about a change. But the other possibility is, you would not want it to go the other way."

Mr Khan lost power in April after four years in office but has been holding rallies and speeches on a regular basis since. It is expected he could run again in 2023 although he has been banned from holding office by the country’s electoral commission over a scandal involving declarations of gifts - which he disputes.

Local police have released video footage showing a lone man holding a gun, who has been identified as the attacker. In contrast to Mr Khan’s account of multiple persons’ involvement, it is understood the man pictured is the only suspect authorities are speaking to.

Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, who succeeded office from Mr Khan in April, decried the shooting and has ordered an investigation.