In an interview with FRANCE 24, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan reacted to the November 3 assassination attempt on him at a protest rally, during which he was shot in the leg. Officially, the gunman is believed to have acted alone, but Khan said he suspected the attacker was just a decoy serving a state-level conspiracy. He directly accused current top Pakistani government leaders, saying they feel threatened by his party’s popularity ahead of the country’s next elections. Khan also said he feared he might be attacked again in the near future: “They think the only way to get me out of the way is actually [to] eliminate me. So I think there’s still a threat.”
Khan, who served as Pakistan’s prime minister from 2018 to 2022, told FRANCE 24 he was convinced the latest attack on him was an assassination plot hatched by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the interior minister and a senior intelligence officer. He claimed that the suspect arrested was only a decoy and that there was another gunman at the rally in the eastern city of Wazirabad. Khan said he only trusted the chief justice to conduct an independent inquiry, arguing that any other inquiry would be sabotaged by the home secretary.
The former prime minister said he feared further attempts on his life but vowed to rejoin the anti-government march. He said he would take “more precautions” but vowed to continue regardless of the risks, insisting the protest march would remain peaceful. He said the only solution was free and fair elections, stressing that his party was confident of winning them.
Khan, who was ousted as prime minister in April after losing a no-confidence vote in parliament, denied backing down on his claim that he was overthrown as part of a US-Pakistani elite collusion. He stressed that there was indeed evidence that the US administration wanted to impeach him, saying that a diplomatic cable proved his claim and that the matter was now in the hands of the chief justice. However, he said he did not want to go against the interests of the Pakistani people by antagonizing a superpower.