Political leaders and government representatives of various countries on Thursday night offered their condemnations for the attack on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s container, stressing there is no space for violence in politics.
“The U.S. strongly condemns the shooting of Imran Khan at a political rally,” read a statement posted on Twitter by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “We wish him and all others injured a quick recovery, and we offer condolences to the family of the individual who was killed. All parties should remain peaceful. Violence has no place in politics,” he added.
Similarly, the Saudi Foreign Ministry issued a “strong” condemnation of the attack and wished for the safety, stability and prosperity of all Pakistanis. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s strong condemnation and denunciation of the attempted assassination of former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan,” it said. “The Ministry affirms the Kingdom’s standing with Pakistan and its people against all threats to its security, stability and development process, noting the Kingdom’s support for all efforts aimed at eliminating violence, extremism and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations while wishing the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and its brotherly people safety, stability, and prosperity,” it added.
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in a posting on Twitter, described the attack on the PTI’s long march as unacceptable. “The attack on Imran Khan and his supporters is completely unacceptable, and I strongly condemn this violence,” he wrote. “It has no place in politics, in any democracy, or in our society. I’m wishing a speedy recovery to Imran and all who were injured today,” he added.
Several British politicians, likewise, expressed their condemnations and wishes for the early recovery of all injured in the shooting. U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, in a statement on Twitter, stressed there was no space for violence in politics. “Shocking attack on Imran Khan in Pakistan, which has left one person dead. My thoughts are with all those affected,” he added.
Similarly, London Mayor Sadiq Khan expressed his concerns and prayers for the people affected. “I’m deeply concerned by these reports from Pakistan,” he said of the shooting. “No political leader should ever face violence or intimidation. My prayers are with Imran Khan and the people of Pakistan at this extremely distressing time,” he added.
U.K. Minister of State Lord Zac Goldsmith, Khan’s ex-brother-in-law, condemned the “appalling news” of Khan’s shooting. “Appalling news from Pakistan. Imran Khan is strong and will soon be back on his feet. Those forces in Pakistan who believe they can stifle democracy in that country through murder are wrong and will be seen to be wrong,” he added.
The condemnations followed within hours of the attack on the PTI’s long march in Wazirabad. The shooting left 13 people injured, according to the PTI, and killed one party supporter. Khan was shot in one leg, while his other leg was grazed by a bullet, according to a medico-legal examination. He is stable and recovering well, doctors added.
Police arrested one suspect from the scene of the crime after he was captured by a citizen. In a “confession” of the attacker that was leaked to media, he claimed to be acting alone, adding that his only target was Khan because he had “misled” people. However, subsequent investigations have raised the possibility of there being a second shooter and police say a search operation is underway to determine if multiple attackers were involved.