Pakistan Interior Minister recovering after assassination attempt

Tuesday, 08 May, 2018

His remarks came in apparent reference to the distribution of Rs 1000 by Pakistan army to activists of Tehreek-e-Labaik - a new ultra-religious political party - each when they were released following an agreement reached between the federal government and Tehreek-e-Labaik which eventually ended a 21-day long sit-in at Faizabad over the issue of Khatam-e-Nabuwwat.

The minister is said to be out of danger, according to Dawn.

Former Senate chief Mian Raza Rabbani strongly condemning the assassination attempt on Interior Minister said Ahsan Iqbal had played key role in preparing Charter of Democracy, inked between Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N).

When the minister arrived at the hospital in Lahore, Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Secretary Zahid Saeed, IGP Arif Nawaz, and others were present. "Just spoke to him [Iqbal] and he is in high spirits", Sharif said.

"Those who indulged in this heinous act will be brought to justice".

Late previous year, some changes were made to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat declaration required of prospective lawmakers under new laws drafted by the ruling PML-N in consultation with opposition parties. "I am personally overseeing the investigation".

On Sunday, Iqbal was shot by an assassin during a corner meeting in Narowal's Kanjrur tehsil with a 30-bore pistol from a distance of 20 yards.

Doctors told media that the bullet fractured two bones of Iqbal's right arm before entering into the groin area.

Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer was gunned down in 2011 by his own police guard who confessed that he killed him because of his opposition to the blasphemy law.

"Document of finishing dharna was not desirable but there was little choice because if [the] situation had persisted [for] another 24 hrs there would be riots", Iqbal had said in a tweet at the time. "Allah Almighty has been very kind. We know the motive of this attack but this is a very risky game being played against the PML-N", Information Minister Marrium Aurengzeb said.

The shooting also caused widespread shock on social media, prompted a race for breaking news between the national TV channels and drew quick national and global condemnations. He is also the head of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms. "No one will remain spared from this hatred".