Pakistan’s interior minister was recovering in hospital Monday after being shot in a suspected assassination attempt possibly linked to blasphemy, with the attack seen as an ominous sign for security ahead of nationwide elections.
Ahsan Iqbal, 59, was shot in the right arm as he prepared to leave a public meeting in his constituency in Punjab province late Sunday.
A man identified by police only as “Abid” and said to be in his early 20s was wrestled to the ground by officers and bystanders as he was preparing to fire a second shot. He has been taken into custody.
Police are still investigating the attack, but local deputy commissioner Ali Anan Qamar told AFP that the shooter said he was inspired by a controversy last year in which a small amendment to the oath that election candidates must swear had to be hastily reversed after it was linked to blasphemy.