Highlights

  • Gun attack on Imran Khan during protest march in Wazirabad
  • Imran Khan third Prime Minister of Pakistan to be targeted
  • Ex-PMs Liaqat, Benazir killed in past; President Musharraf survived

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Imran Khan is now part of an infamous group of Pakistan's top leaders who have faced assassination attempts. Not all were as lucky as him.

Fifteen years after a former Prime Minister of Pakistan was killed in a suicide bombing, an eerily similar attack took place against another former premier of the Islamic country.

Imran Khan is now part of an infamous group of Pakistan's top leaders who have faced assassination attempts. Not all were as lucky as him.

The first high-profile victim of an assassination conspiracy was Pakistan's first Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan. On 16 Oct 1951, Liaqat Khan was shot dead during an event of the Muslim City League. Said Akbar, who hailed from Afghanistan, shot and killed Liaqat Khan at the Rawalpindi Company Bagh. The assassin was subsequently attacked by a mob, and then shot dead by police.

The next big leader targeted by assassins was dictator Pervez Musharraf. He faced four murder attempts, and survived them all. In 2002, a bomb kept near the route of his vehicle didn't explode when its detonator failed. In 2003, a bomb blast occurred at a spot that Musharraf's car had passed around 20 minutes earlier. The same year, bomb-laden trucks were driven into his convoy, killing at least 15 people. Then, in 2007, shots fired at Musharraf's plane during take-off from Rawalpindi.

The same year, on 27 December, former Prime Minister was Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was targeted by a suicide bomber. She was assassinated after an election rally in Rawalpindi. The killer approached Bhutto's convoy and shot at her before blowing himself up. The Pakistani Taliban later claimed responsibility for attack.

In the latest incident, shots were fired during Imran Khan's protest march. The gunfire was targeted towards a container carrying the former Prime Minister. Imran suffered a bullet injury in his leg in the Wazirabad attack. Two other leaders of his PTI party - Faisal Javed and Ahmed Chhattha - were also hurt.

Despite Pakistan's attempts to hide its instability, such frequent attacks at its top leaders expose how the powerplay between the political class, the military puppeteers, and the terrorist pawns is pushing the country towards the brink.

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