Ahsan Iqbal wounded in assassination bid; gunman arrested (VIDEO)

  • Punjab Government's spokesman confirms the interior minister "out of danger"; shifted to Lahore's Services Hospital
  • PM Abbasi orders to police to trace "planners" behind the attack; Punjab CM Shehaz Sharif personally overseeing the investigation
  • Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan and other politicians condemn the attack
Pakistan

NAROWAL – Police have arrested an armed man who fired shots at Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal when he was leaving a corner meeting in his hometown on Sunday.

Iqbal, who belongs to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), suffered a bullet wound in his right arm when an armed attacker opened fire on him in Kanjrur area of Shakargarh, DPO Imran Kishwar told the reporters.

The attacker was identified as 21-year-old Abid Hussain who was immediately nabbed by the security personnel present on the occasion. For further interrogation, the attacker has been shifted to the undisclosed location. Hussain hails from a local village.

The attacker used a 30-bore pistol to fire at Iqbal from a distance of around 20 yards, the officer said.

The minister was immediately shifted to a nearby hospital in Narowal, where he is currently being treated.

Punjab Government spokesman Malik Ahmed Khan confirmed Ahsan Iqbal was out of danger.

Punjab Chief Minister and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, after a telephonic contact with the minister, sent his special helicopter to airlift Iqbal to Lahore.

The attacker has been identified as Abid Hussain, a 21-year-old man from a Narowal village.

President Mamnoon Hussain and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa condemned the attack by lone assassin.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi ordered the Inspector General of Punjab to “trace the  attack planners and submit report in 24 hours”.

Security has been beefed at the entry and exit points of the city, with Police and Rangers troops deployed at the minister’s house and the District Headquarters Hospital.

COAS Bajwa condemns attack on Ahsan Iqbal, wishes for early recovery

Condemnations pour in

Former president Asif Ali Zardari has also condemned the attack on Ahsan Iqbal. “We have to put a stop to such incidents” said the PPP co-chairman.

“Hope he recovers soon and thoughts, prayers with his family,” said Leader of the Opposition in Senate Sherry Rehman.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also condemned the attack, praying for the minister’s speedy recovery.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, in a tweet, condemned the attack.

PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry strongly condemned the attack in a tweet.

Shireen Mazari and Asad Umar of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) also condemned the attack and wished the minister quick recovery.

Sunday’s incident comes as Iqbal’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is due to complete its tenure later this month before the country holds new elections.