Gunman wounds Pakistan's interior minister in Punjab

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

A provincial government of Pakistan formed an investigation team on Monday to probe Sunday's assassination attempt at country's Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, an official statement said.

Talal Chaudhry, the Minister of State for Interior Affairs, says Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was returning to his vehicle after a meeting in Narowal district when he came under attack.

Iqbal, a close aide of ousted Premier Nawaz Sharif, is considered to be the man behind the ruling party's economic agenda; he led the Planning and Development Ministry and the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects.

Shehbaz Sharif has reportedly sent his official helicopter to Narowal to airlift Iqbal to Lahore. They named the suspected shooter as Abid Hussain, 21, and said they had found him carrying a pistol.

"We are not sure whether it has got anything to do with the motive".

Education activist and Nobel Prize victor Malala Yousafzai, condemned on Sunday night the assassination attempt on Interior minister Ahsan Iqbal.

Hussain, who was overpowered and disarmed by security guards before he could fire another shot, was later handed over to police.

At the time many Pakistanis and analysts warned that a unsafe precedent had been set in which fringe groups could bend the state to their will by citing blasphemy, a highly inflammatory charge in the conservative Muslim country.

Similarly, Senator Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi also condemned the attack on Ahsan Iqbal and asked the workers of all political parties to play their role in uniting the nation.

Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini condemned murder attempt on interior minister and urged all political forces to show unity to eliminate terrorism from the country.

Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto and other Pakistan Peoples Party leaders also condemned the attack, as did Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan.

Late past 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.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi telephoned him to inquire after his health and prayed for his swift recovery.

Iqbal was once seen as a potential prime minister when Nawaz Sharif was ousted by the Supreme Court a year ago.

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