Pakistan's Interior Minister Recovering From Attempted Assassination

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A provincial government of Pakistan formed an investigation team on Monday to probe Sunday's assassination attempt at country's Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, an official statement said.

The gunman, that authorities identified as Abid Hussain, taken Iqbal since the ministry was returning into his auto afterwards meeting elements, and has been immediately detained. "We know the motive of this attack but I want to tell that this is a very risky game being played against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)", Information Minister Marrium Aurengzeb said adding that "this politics of hatred" should be stopped now.

On the other hand, medical officials were considering to constitute five-member medical board comprising two surgeons, two orthopedic surgeons and one medicine specialist for further consultation on Iqbal's treatment.

The attack was swiftly condemned by the worldwide community, including the U.S. ambassador and the French embassy, as Pakistanis voiced fears it represented an attempt to "weaken democracy" ahead of the federal elections, widely expected to be held late this summer.

Ziauddin Yousafzai, the father of Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai, called the attempted assassination a "bad omen for upcoming general elections that are supposed to be free, fair, and transparent".

He wondered where the minister's security was at the time of the incident.

It follows a series of blows to the PML-N, which has been struggling to find its footing since its eponymous leader Nawaz Sharif was ousted by the Supreme Court over graft allegations last summer.

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Similarly, ousted prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and former foreign minister Khwaja Asif also faced shoe and ink attacks in Lahore and Sialkot, a couple of months ago.

Mr Sharif and his supporters have repeatedly denied the allegations, suggesting they are victims of a conspiracy driven by Pakistan's powerful military to reduce the sway of their party.

Blasphemy is a deeply emotional and politically charged issue in Pakistan, even more so since Labaik has emerged in the past year.

Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer was gunned down in 2011 by his own police guard who confessed that he killed him because of his opposition to the blasphemy law.

Hardliners have built a shrine to his murderer, Mumtaz Qadri, on the outskirts of the capital.

Police said the bullet had hit Iqbal in the right arm and gone into his groin.

Iqbal, who also heads the planning ministry, has in recent years overseen the implementation of Chinese-funded Belt and Road infrastructure projects in Pakistan as part of the near $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

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