Politics, Asia - Pacific

Outspoken spokesman of Pakistan’s jailed ex-Premier Khan’s party survives attack

Rauf Hassan attacked outside local broadcaster’s office in Islamabad

Aamir Latif  | 21.05.2024 - Update : 21.05.2024
Outspoken spokesman of Pakistan’s jailed ex-Premier Khan’s party survives attack

KARACHI, Pakistan

The outspoken spokesman of Pakistan’s jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party was attacked and injured Tuesday in Islamabad, local media reported.

Rauf Hassan, the flamboyant spokesperson of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, was attacked by a group outside the office of a local broadcaster.

Footage on multiple television channels showed Hassan, who has been critical of the government and the security agencies, sitting on a chair with blood oozing from his face.

Hassan was attacked as he came out of the broadcaster’s office after recording a program.

Lawmakers from the PTI boycotted a Senate session to protest the attack and demand an inquiry.

Opposition Leader in the Senate, Shibli Faraz, condemned the attack, terming it another sequel of the “ongoing targeting” of PTI leaders and workers.

In a related development, a court exonerated Khan and other PTI leaders in the three cases that accused them of resorting to violence, obstructing public service and other charges during a protest march weeks after his ouster from power in May 2022.

Former Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, ex-deputy National Assembly Speaker Qasim Suri and other lawmakers were also acquitted.

Khan, ousted in a no-trust vote in April 2022, who has been languishing in a jail in the northeastern garrison city of Rawalpindi for months, is facing a slew of cases, which he terms a “sham.”

He has been convicted in multiple cases. The Islamabad High Court in April suspended Khan and his wife’s 14-year conviction in a case that accused them of illegally buying and selling state gifts.

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