Bullet in body reminder of need to remove seeds of hatred: Iqbal


ISLAMABAD: Minister of Interior Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday said the bullet in his body is a constant reminder to remove the seeds of hatred sown in the country. 

Speaking during a National Assembly session in the federal capital, the minister termed his assailant as a coward.

“On May 6, a coward fanatic attempted to take my life but He [God] who is our protector is greater than the attacker,” he said.

"I am standing here today, blessed with a new life and just as a Pakistani, not a minister or member of the parliament, I want to say that the bullet lodged in my body will remain there forever. It will keep reminding me of the impending need to remove the seeds of hatred sowed in the country."

"We have spread the narrative of hatred in politics," Iqbal observed.  

The Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) leader also appreciated Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for lending support to his family during the tough time. 

"I cannot forget how Bilawal Bhutto stood united with my family, his eyes were moist [when he denounced the attack.]"

The interior minister also expressed his gratitude for PTI Chairman Imran Khan for having sent a bouquet while he was in the hospital, however, he expressed his discontentment at the individuals chosen by the later to inquire about his health. 

"I am grateful that Imran sent a bouquet but I would have been happier if the bouquet was delivered to me by Shafqat Mehmood, Shireen Mazari, Asad Umer, Arif Alvi or some other friend." 

"Unfortunately the people who you [Imran] sent with the bouquet were later defending the assassin on a television show, saying that he did the right thing which is regrettable," remarked Iqbal. 

An assailant had shot at Iqbal, earlier this month, during a rally in the latter's constituency Narowal. The minister underwent two operations — one aimed at removing the bullet from Iqbal's lower torso and the other to mend his broken elbow bone. Iqbal had sustained a fracture after the bullet scraped his elbow and then hit his lower abdomen. 

However, the bullet that entered Iqbal's abdomen — specifically, the lower part of his stomach — was not removed, as per the doctors' decision, for it was not harmful to him anymore and pulling it out at present could have proved to be risky.

An initial investigation report on the failed assassination attempt at Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal suggested that the main accused, Abid Hussain, 21, planned out the attack on the interior minister with careful deliberation.

According to the report, Abid had told police that he had a dream where he received orders to assassinate Ahsan Iqbal. He wrote down his thoughts in a diary over the past three or four months.