ISLAMABAD - Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan’s federal interior minister, survived an assassination attempt Sunday in the central Punjab province.
Police confirmed the attack, saying the minister sustained a bullet injury in his right shoulder. Iqbal was quickly taken to a nearby hospital, where doctors described his condition as stable. He was later airlifted to the provincial capital of Lahore for further treatment.
Iqbal was shot at twice while he was boarding his vehicle after attending a public meeting in his native town of Narowal.
The lone would-be assassin, a local resident in his early 20s, has been arrested and his weapon seized, a senior district police official told reporters.
The attacker reportedly told police he intended to kill Iqbal because of religious and political differences.
Sunday’s incident comes as Iqbal’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, or PML-N Party, is due to complete its tenure later this month before the country holds new elections.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi condemned the attack in a statement and asked the police to immediately submit their report on the incident.
The United States also condemned the attack on the Pakistani minister.
"We wish him a speedy recovery," said U.S. ambassador David Hale in a brief statement issued to media.