ISLAMABAD – Pakistani police snipers shot and seriously wounded a gunman who was tackled live on television by a politician during a dramatic standoff close to Islamabad’s high-security political quarter.
The man, who was with his wife and children as he issued demands for the imposition of Islamic law, was said by doctors to be fighting for his life after the five-hour incident, which shut down part of the city late Thursday. Identified as Mohammad Sikandar, the man touted two semi-automatic guns as he smoked cigarettes while giving interviews to TV stations over his cellphone.
“Muslims are being subjected to cruelties everywhere in the world,” Sikandar told Dunya News as his children sat in the back of a car and his wife stood calmly nearby.
The standoff began around 5:30 p.m. when police flagged down the car for a traffic violation, less than 1 km from the presidency and parliament. Sikandar then started firing into the air, forcing nearlby markets and shops to close.
The incident ended at 11 p.m. after Zamurd Khan, a leader of the Pakistan People’s Party who was acting as a negotiator, jumped on the gunman and tried to disarm him. Sikandar broke free and fired at Khan, who was not injured. Police and paramilitary commandos then shot Sikandar as he tried to flee.