The attack on his convoy killed one man and wounded at least 10 others, significantly raising the stakes in political crisis gripping the country since Imran Khan's ouster as prime minister in April.
Pakistani former prime minister Imran Khan is recovering in hospital after an assassination attempt that left him with a gunshot wound to the leg.
Khan "was stable and he was doing fine" at Shaukat Khanum hospital in the eastern city of Lahore, his doctor Faisal Sultan told AFP news agency Friday morning.
The 70-year-old former international cricket star had been leading a campaign convoy of thousands since last week from Lahore to the capital Islamabad when he was attacked.
Khan escaped with at least one bullet wound to his right leg when a gunmen sprayed pistol fire at his modified container truck as it slowly drove through a thick crowd in Wazirabad, around 170 kilometres east of Islamabad.
"Everyone who was standing in the very front row got hit," former information minister Fawad Chaudhry, who was standing behind Khan, told AFP.
Senior aide Raoof Hasan told AFP it was "an attempt to kill him, to assassinate him".
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Several leaders of Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party have blamed the government for the assassination attempt, which the authorities have denied.
Chaudhry said PTI officials would meet later Friday to discuss the immediate fate of Khan's campaign march, but vowed it would continue.
"The real freedom long march will continue and the movement for people's rights will remain until an announcement on the general elections," he tweeted.
For now, Khan's campaign truck has become a crime scene, cordoned off and guarded by commandos as forensic experts comb the area.
Overnight, thousands of Khan supporters gathered for a peek, many waving party banners.
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Thursday the attacker had been taken into custody, and shared an apparent confession video that was circulating online.
"I did it because (Khan) was misleading the public," says a dishevelled man in the video, shown with his hands tied behind his back in what appears to be a police station.
He adds that he was angry with the procession for making a racket during the call to prayer that summons Muslims to the mosque five times a day.
Fawad Chaudhry rejected the purported confession of the attacker, contending that "the matter is not that simple."
In a statement, he claimed that suicide bombers were hired to kill politicians in the past. "Stop considering the people fools," he added.
Khan was voted into power in 2018 on an anti-corruption platform by an electorate tired of dynastic politics, but his mishandling of the economy – and falling out with a military accused of helping his rise – sealed his fate.
Since then, he has railed against the establishment and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's government, which he says was imposed on Pakistan by a "conspiracy" involving the United States.
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