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Imran Khan: ‘Psychologically, I’m more determined than ever’

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is recovering after being shot in the shin during a rally on November 3, says the tragic event has led him to carry on with more determination than ever.

He was speaking to Andrea Sanke, the host of TRT World’s flagship current affairs programme The Newsmakers on Tuesday.

“Psychologically, I’m more determined than ever,” Khan said. “I was expecting something to happen. I predicted this four months ago that there was a plot against me.”

Khan, 70, got injured after reportedly a gunman opened fire at him while he was atop a truck, leading a protest rally in Punjab’s Wazirabad. Ghazanfar Ali, a district police officer, said one person was killed and nine others, including Khan, were wounded in the attack.

Imran Khan alleges top Pakistan officials are behind plot to kill him

Immediately after the attack, two of Khan’s senior party members addressed a press conference on his behalf, accusing the country’s prime minister, interior minister and a senior intelligence agency official as “the perpetrators behind the attack”.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former prime minister and a senior leader of the ruling coalition’s Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz party, spoke with The Newsmakers and called the allegations levelled by Khan tragic.

“It is a tragedy that a person of Imran Khan’s stature, who served as the prime minister of the country, would stoop so low to accuse the (sitting) prime minister and intelligence officials of being behind this shooting,” he said.

Abbasi said the shooting took place in a province which Khan’s PTI party controls and called for an investigation to ascertain “the motivation behind this shooting”.

“The shooter has been arrested and the truth should come out. I think for Imran Khan to speculate and try to gain political points out of this is something that is very much not acceptable,” Abbasi said.

READ MORE: Türkiye wishes ‘swift recovery’ to Pakistan’s former PM Imran Khan

Religiously-motivated attack

Khan, meanwhile, was quick to respond to Abbasi’s comments, saying “if it was for popularity I wanted to blame someone for assassination, I do not need that sort of popularity”.

The PTI supremo referred to his party’s overwhelming win in the country’s recently concluded by-elections, claiming his party currently enjoys mass public support.

“On September 24, I actually went into a public rally and gave the script of what was going to happen to me,” the PTI chairman said.

Khan said he had known much earlier that a successful attempt on his life would be framed as a religiously-motivated attack, and called for an investigation into the incident.

“(There was) the whole sequence of events, with a video first manufactured by a certain agency, showing me as if I am committing blasphemy, which is picked up by one of the pro-government journalists and then it is run on national, government-owned television,” he said.

“It was all part of a plan to make it out that eventually, some fanatic had killed me.”

Reactions over ‘assassination’ attempt on ex-Pakistan PM Imran Khan

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