Pak Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was an 'easy target', says, primary suspect after assassination attempt

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: May 08, 2018, 07:39 AM IST

File photo of Ahsan Iqbal. Photograph:(Zee News Network)

The primary suspect, Abid Hussain, who was responsible for the assassination bid at Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, reportedly said that Iqbal was an "easy target" and "belonged to his area," reports said. 

Abid fired a shot at Iqbal from a distance of 15 yards as he entered his vehicle to leave the rally venue tehsil Kanjrur. He was later arrested and is now on a 10-day physical remand. He also confessed that he had purchased a gun from a person for Rs 15,000. A 30-bore pistol was recovered from the arrested Abid.

The police have also arrested an accomplice, and have registered the FIR of the incident at Shah Ghareeb Police Station, reports said.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal underwent two successful consecutive surgeries on Monday after being shot in an apparent assassination bid by a religious fanatic during an election rally in Punjab province, as another suspect has been taken into custody.

Iqbal, 59, a senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, was hit by the bullet on his right shoulder in the attack on Sunday.

An official at the Services Hospital here said that the surgery was successful and Iqbal is recovering well.

"Iqbal is out of danger and recovering fast," he added.

Hussain belongs to the religious outfit - Tehreek-e-Labbaik Yarasoolallah Pakistan (TLYP), according to preliminary investigation.

"The suspect who opened fire on the interior minister belongs to the TLYP. We know the motive of this attack but I want to tell that this is a very dangerous game being played against the PML-N," Information Minister Marrium Aurengzeb said. Talking to reporters she said "this politics of hatred" should be stopped now.

A senior police officer said that the suspect told investigators that he opened fire on the minister to take revenge on the ruling PML-N for trying to delete the clause related to the Khatm-e-Nabuwat (the finality of Prophet Muhammad) from the Constitution. 

The suspect, during questioning, told police that he received ‘orders’ to kill the interior minister in a dream and wrote down his thoughts in a diary over the past three or four months.