Imran Khan’s life under threat, Pakistan judge cites intel report

Former Pakistan prime minister, Imran Khan’s life is still under threat with another possible assassination attempt, a top judge said, citing an intelligence report.

The fears of a second assassination attempt are being raised as Mr Khan recovered after sustaining an injury from a gunshot wound in his leg during a rally earlier this month.

Islamabad High Court (IHC) chief justice, Aamer Farooq said on Friday that it is “the responsibility of the government and the state” to look into this aspect of the threat to Mr Khan’s life.

His remarks came while the court heard a petition filed by a traders’ body raising objections over road closures in the national capital during political protests.

“Lodging a protest is the right of political and non-political entities, but the rights of citizens should not be violated in its wake,” Justice Farooq said.

The cricketer-turned-prime minister, Mr Khan, was shot in the shin on 3 November when his anti-government protest convoy came under attack after a gunman opened fire at the rally.

A supporter of Mr Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) who was taking part in the rally was killed and more than a dozen others were wounded.

His party was forced to pause the long march that was organised to pressure prime minister Shahbaz Sharif‘s government to hold early elections after he was ousted from office in April in a no-confidence vote in parliament.

The suspect was arrested and confessed to the intention of killing Mr Khan but the former prime minister accused Mr Sharif, interior minister Rana Sanaullah and military officer General Faisal Naseer of orchestrating the attack to kill him.

On Friday, the police presented an intelligence report that suggested there is a possibility of another attack on Mr Khan once he rejoins the march.

Justice Farooq, meanwhile, asked the PTI members to submit a new application to seek permission to hold its rally in Islamabad.

He said it is the duty of the police to ensure the security of the protesters when they reach the city.

“If the issue is not resolved, a fresh petition can also be filed,” he said.

Mr Khan has remained physically absent from the rallies that resumed on 10 November.

As he recuperates from his bullet injury at his residence in Lahore, he addressed the rallies through a video link.

Mr Khan is expected to rejoin the protest when it reaches Rawalpindi, Punjab, next week.