Former prime minister’s party rejects report as ‘mocking’ after attack on protest march.
Police in Pakistan have reported last week’s attack on former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was shot and injured in the leg during a protest march. But it has been criticized by his party as a “mockery”.
Authorities in the eastern province of Punjab, where the shooting took place, filed a so-called First Information Report (FIR) on Monday under orders from the country’s Supreme Court.
The court on Monday questioned the top officer of the Punjab police and warned to register an FIR within 24 hours.
The police report was filed under anti-terror laws and named Naveed Ahmed as the suspected attacker. He was arrested on November 3 at the site of the attack.
Leaders of Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party in Pakistan criticized the police report as a “mockery of justice”.
“It’s a pointless FIR. It’s not even worth the paper it’s written on,” PTI official Asad Umar told Al Jazeera.
“We do not accept it in its current form and we will use all avenues to seek justice,” he added.
Ejaz Chaudhary, another senior party official who was with Khan on the container when the attack took place, said it was a striking reflection of the state of affairs in Pakistan, where a former prime minister found it difficult to register a police case.
“The country’s most popular leader is attacked in broad daylight and yet he is unable to register a case. He’s been asking for days, but the police just gave lame excuses,” Chaudhary told Al Jazeera.
Khan, 70, led his march to the capital to demand elections from the Punjab city of Wazirabad, along with a large number of supporters when he was shot at. He recovered for three days in a hospital in Lahore before being discharged on Sunday.
One person was killed in the attack and 13 were injured.
On Friday, the former cricketer-turned-politician named Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and a senior military official, Major General Faisal Naseer, as the main accused behind the “plot to kill him”. He has not provided any proof.
The police report does not mention the names of the three individuals Khan accused.
Sharif has denied the charges against him and asked the country’s highest court to form a commission to investigate the attack.
The military called Khan’s allegations against his chief official on Friday “baseless and irresponsible”.
Former minister Shafqat Mahmood, another PTI leader, tweeted his condemnation of the police report, writing that it was a “complete disruption of the law”.
“Failing to register FIR as per the complainant’s claim is a complete violation of the law and unacceptable. This one act has turned our entire legal framework upside down. SC must take note of this derision,” he tweeted Tuesday, referring to the Supreme Court.
The long march, which started from Lahore on October 28, will resume on November 10.
Umar, the party’s general secretary, told Al Jazeera that although they planned to resume the march on Tuesday, they had to change the dates due to the delay in registering the police report.
“We were supposed to continue on Tuesday and even have [the] Announcement. But due to the FIR situation we had to change plans and now we start from [the] same spot on Thursday,” he said.
Khan was ousted as prime minister after a parliamentary vote of no confidence in April.
Since then, he has held public rallies and called for early elections. The term of the current National Assembly will expire in October 2023.
The coalition government has so far rejected its demands and has said the elections will take place as scheduled.