After surviving an assassination attempt, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal underwent two consecutive surgeries and has now been shifted to the Intensive Care Unit of the Services Hospital in Lahore.

Medical Superintendent of the Services Hospital, Dr Ameer, said Iqbal was in a stable condition and the minister will be kept under observation for 24 hours.

Iqbal will be kept under treatment at the hospital till his recovery, the doctor added.

According to the medical superintendent, doctors had decided not to remove the bullet from Iqbal’s body as the procedure could create some complications. The bullet had fractured an elbow joint of the minister before landing into his abdomen, the doctor said.

On Sunday, the interior minister narrowly escaped an assassination attempt during a corner meeting in his constituency in Narowal. A suspect had fired at the minister from a distance of some 15 yards. He was rushed to the District Headquarters Hos­pital, Narowal for first aid and then airlifted to the Services Hospital, Lahore, to undergo surgery.

Police arrest suspect
The people standing around the assailant overpowered him before he could fire a second shot at his target. The policemen then arrested the suspect, seized the weapon and shifted him to a police station.

District Police Officer (DPO) Imran Kishwar told reporters that the suspect — Abid Husain, a resident of nearby Verum village — had managed to slip into the corner meeting. He apparently carried a 30-bore weapon, which he pulled out and fired at the minister.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) retired Capt Arif Nawaz told Dawn that the 22-year-old suspect who was arrested from the spot in Kanjroor town of Shakargarh tehsil, had confessed to opening fire on the minister due to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat issue.

TLYRA condemns attack
The Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah issued a statement condemning the attack on the minister. TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Pir Afzal Qadri, in a joint statement, demanded of the government to conduct a judicial inquiry of the attack.

The attack on the minister just months ahead of the 2018 general elections needs to be probed, they said, adding that the TLYRA is a peaceful religio-political party that believes in change through political struggle and polls.