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At this point, where Gallup Pakistan is reporting more than a 90% popularity rating for Imran Khan in the country, both the traditional mafioso-style corrupt dynastic political parties as well as significant sections of the military high command see Khan’s assassination as the only solution.
There is no doubt in people’s minds that Gen. Bajwa, the Chief of Army Staff, and his highly unusual visit to Washington weeks before his retirement gives every indication that the US has also put pressure on Islamabad to get rid of the one irritant in Washington’s ‘New Cold War’ against both China and Russia, but also the Global South more generally – that irritant in Eurasia being Imran Khan.
Sadly, this may only be the first assassination attempt in a series to come. But the sense on the ground is that Khan supporters and/or those who thoroughly despise the traditional ruling civilian and military elites, those who have been out in the streets in the tens of millions for the past few weeks protesting alongside Khan, feel both intense anger and renewed vigor to carry on the struggle.
–Junaid S. Ahmad, November 4, 2022
Here is an excerpt from the Reuters’ report, Ousted Pakistan PM Imran Khan shot in shin in what aides call assassination attempt:
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was shot in the shin on Thursday when his anti-government protest convoy came under attack in the east of the country in what his aides said was a clear assassination attempt by his rivals.
Khan, ousted as prime minister in a parliamentary confidence vote in April, was six days into a protest procession bound for Islamabad, standing and waving to thousands of cheering supporters from the roof of a container truck, when the shots rang out.
Several in his convoy were wounded in the attack in Wazirabad, nearly 200 km (120 miles) from the capital. Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said a suspect had been arrested.
“It was a clear assassination attempt. Khan was hit but he’s stable. There was a lot of bleeding,” Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesperson for Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, told Reuters.
“If the shooter had not been stopped by people there, the entire PTI leadership would have been wiped out.”