Assassination attempt: Ahsan Iqbal was an easy target, says primary suspect

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was shot and injured by unknown assailants in Narowal's tehsil Kanjrur here on Sunday sources informed Geo News

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was shot and injured by unknown assailants in Narowal's tehsil Kanjrur here on Sunday sources informed Geo News

Iqbal was made interior minister a year ago, but has been a member of the cabinet since the PML-N came into power in the 2013 elections.

Iqbal was shot in the shoulder at an election rally, according to Federal Minister Talal Chaudhry.

The Punjab government, confirming the arrest, said that the suspect "is being interrogated by the police", Dawn reported.

"Doctors are operating upon Mr Iqbal to take out a bullet from his stomach".

Police are investigating whether the attack could have had any religious motive.

"The attacker was about to fire a second shot when police and people in the meeting overpowered him", he said.

"The suspect belongs to a religious family and a worker of the TLYP", he said.

Ziauddin Yousafzai, the father of Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai, called the attempted assassination a "bad omen for upcoming general elections that are supposed to be free, fair, and transparent".

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According to the police, the culprit has been taken into custody from the spot, who confessed to firing gunshot on the minister over Khatm-i-Nabuwat issue.

She prayed for speedy recovery of Ahsan Iqbal and said "We hope to see him back in parliament soon".

In his statement, he said that he had attacked the interior minister on the issue of Khattam-e-Nubawwat.

Senators Rehman Malik and Muhammad Javed Abbasi vehemently condemned the attack and called for national unity against terrorism.

The politician is out of "immediate danger", his son Ahmad told local TV station Geo News.

The attack was swiftly condemned by the worldwide community as Pakistanis voiced fears it represented an attempt to weaken democracy ahead of the federal elections, widely expected to be held late this summer.

Inspector General of Police Punjab retired Capt Arif Nawaz said the police have also been probing the involvement of any facilitators in the incident. The suspect then claimed that he committed the act because he was upset with the PML-N government over the change to the offending clause in the Constitution.

A couple of months ago Iqbal had also faced a shoe-attack in his hometown. Considered the brains behind the party's development agenda, he previously headed up the planning ministry.

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