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Pakistan ex-PM Imran joins first rally since being shot

November 27, 2022 00:00:00

RAWALPINDI, Nov 26 (AFP/Express Tribune): Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan after landing in Islamabad for the 'climax' of the Haqeeqi Azadi march, has arrived at the venue of the party’s power show in Rawalpindi and will address his first public gathering after being injured in a gun attack shortly.

Earlier, the deposed premier landed at the Nur Khan airbase in a chartered plane from Lahore and was accompanied by a team of doctors and his nephew Ahmed Khan Niazi.

From there, Imran went to a helipad to travel to Rawalpindi and later arrived at the Barani University helipad. 

A video of the helicopter carrying Imran to Rawalpindi was shared on social media.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan is expected to address thousands of supporters at his first public appearance since being shot earlier this month in an assassination attempt he blamed on his successor.

The shooting was the latest twist in months of political turmoil that began in April when Khan was ousted by a vote of no confidence in parliament.

Saturday's rally is the climax of a so-called "long march" by Khan's party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), to press the government to call a snap election before parliament's term expires in October next year.

"My life is in danger, and despite being injured I am going to Rawalpindi for the nation," PTI quoted Khan as saying in a morning tweet. "My nation will come to Rawalpindi for me."

On Saturday, a video was circulating of aides posing with a now-removed blue cast that Khan wore on his right leg after the shooting.

The rally will take place on a vast open ground between the capital, Islamabad, and neighbouring Rawalpindi-the garrison city that is home to the headquarters of the country's powerful military.

Authorities have thrown a ring of steel around Islamabad to prevent Khan's supporters from marching on government buildings, with thousands of security personnel deployed and roads blocked by shipping containers.

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