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Imran Khan Says Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif Is Involved In Plot To Kill Him

The former prime minister also said the shooting will not deter him from continuing a protest march to the capital.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has accused his successor of taking part in a plot to kill him while he was recovering in hospital from gunshot wounds following an assassination attempt.

Khan told reporters on Friday that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who replaced him as prime minister following a no-confidence motion in April, was involved in a plot that included Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and a senior army commander.

“These three decided to kill me,” Khan said in his first public appearance since Thursday’s attack, adding that two gunmen were involved.

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The government has denied any part and blamed the assassination attempt on a gunman fueled by “religious extremism.”

The attack on Khan’s convoy killed one man and wounded at least 10, significantly raising the stakes in a political crisis that has gripped the country since Khan’s ouster in April.

The 70-year-old former international cricket star has been leading a campaign convoy of thousands from Lahore to Islamabad last week.

A man watches a television channel broadcasting a speech by former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
A man watches a television channel broadcasting a speech by former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. [Asif Hassan/AFP]

Sitting in a wheelchair, his right leg in a cast and his left leg heavily bandaged, Khan spoke for more than an hour, criticizing the government and the system he accuses of overthrowing him.

He also made a new appeal to the public and urged the nation to continue its fight for freedom. He said that once he has recovered, he will resume his long march to Islamabad.

Khan called on the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take action against the injustices being committed against him and his party workers. He said that he has done enough for Pakistan to show that he only has the best intentions for his country.

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He demanded the resignation of the three people he blamed for the attack.

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“[If] there is no justice, a country cannot prosper,” Khan said, addressing the Chief Justice. “It is your responsibility to save this country from injustice.”

The Punjab Provincial General Secretary of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Hammad Azhar, told Al Jazeera that despite what some critics said, lack of security was not to blame for the shooting.

“It’s not that precautions weren’t taken. This was a planned assassination attempt on Imran Khan. It was carefully planned and carefully executed,” said Azhar. “There were multiple security cordons around him.”

Pakistani journalist Hasan Khan told Al Jazeera that the former prime minister may have been too hasty with his accusations.

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“It’s too early to blame the country’s prime minister, the interior minister and the senior military officer, but they know what Khan is doing, he’s already taking political advantage of this,” he said.

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