Pakistan’s Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has been wounded in a gun attack in the central province of Punjab where he was attending a meeting, officials said.
Talal Chaudhry, the minister of state for interior affairs, said Iqbal was hit by a bullet in his arm in the attack in his native district of Narowal on May 6.
Iqbal was taken to a hospital with nonlife-threatening wounds, Pakistani media said, citing police and the minister’s family.
Dawn.com quoted police officer Imran Kishwar as saying that the attacker used a pistol to fire at the minister from a distance of some 20 meters.
Police arrested a suspect they identified as Abid Hussain, who is believed to be 21 years old. They said he was found to be carrying a pistol.
Citing a police report, Reuters reported that the suspect was affiliated with the new ultrareligious Tehrik-e Labaik party, which focuses on highlighting and fighting blasphemy.
The report did not speculate on his motive, Reuters reported.
Labaik’s leader, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, condemned the attack and said his party had not authorized anyone to take up arms.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi condemned the attack, which comes as Pakistan gears up for federal elections expected this summer.