Serious accusations.

THE attempt on former prime minister Imran Khan's life has lit a fuse that must be put out post-haste. In his first public statement after surviving a deadly gun attack, the PTI chairman has named the prime minister, interior minister and a senior intelligence official as being responsible for the bid to assassinate him. Claiming that he had been aware of the conspiracy for a while, Mr Khan referred to a statement he had made during a September jalsa, where he had spoken about an alleged plot to assassinate him and frame it as a religiously motivated attack. He said he had also been warned ahead of Thursday that the attack could materialise soon, but had found it difficult to believe it, thinking that the plotters would not actually go through with their plan. Mr Khan has now demanded the resignation or removal of all three officials from their positions, saying he does not believe any investigation can be conducted independently while they remain in office.

These are very serious accusations. By going public with them, Mr Khan has taken a step that he may find impossible to reverse. It seems highly unlikely that Shehbaz Sharif or Rana Sanaullah will step down on Mr Khan's demands, and it is improbable that the military will be interested at this time in removing a top official merely on his complaint. This means that whatever investigation is done will be hamstrung from the start by accusations of interference and partiality, and the acrimony between the state and the PTI...

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