Imran Khan addresses his first rally since being shot dead
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will address thousands of his supporters on Saturday in his first public appearance since he was shot dead earlier this month in an assassination attempt his successor was accused of involvement in.
The Nov. 3 attack, which wounded the former prime minister in both legs, was the latest development in months of political unrest that began in April when Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament.
Saturday’s march is the culmination of a so-called “long march” by Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), to pressure the government to hold snap elections before parliament’s term expires next October.
The party quoted Khan in a tweet as saying: “My life is in danger. Despite my injury, I’m going to Rawalpindi for the good of the nation. My nation will come to Rawalpindi for me.”
A video circulated on Saturday of his aides posing in a blue cast that Khan had placed on his right leg after the shooting.
The gathering is being organized on a vast open land between the capital, Islamabad, and neighboring Rawalpindi, the city that houses the headquarters of the country’s powerful army.
Authorities imposed tight security around Islamabad to prevent Ansar Khan from going to government buildings, with thousands of security forces deployed and shipping containers blocking roads.
Police said any attempt by party supporters to enter Islamabad this time would be severely punished.
Home Secretary Rana Sanaullah, who Khan said was implicated in the assassination, issued a “red alert” on Friday, warning of security threats to the gathering.
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