Islamabad - Social media users reacted with shock and grief after Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was attacked on Sunday evening.

On the last day of the weekend, when people were busy making plans for next working day, it was the social media which informed the users about the attack on the interior minister.

At around 7 pm, just after the incident, hashtags Ahsan Iqbal firing, StayStrongAhsanIqbal and "Ahsan Iqbal" emerged on Twitter and instantly grabbed the users’ attention. In the first one-hour, tag Ahsan Iqbal had 13.2 k tweets, while Narowal got 5616.

Politicians, civil society and even the army used the social media to express their reaction to the incident.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan said, he strongly condemns the attack on Ahsan Iqbal. PTI’s Jehangir Tareen was the first to point out that the attack might have to do something with the personal political beliefs of the interior minister.

“Strongly condemn the incident of firing on Ahsan Iqbal. I hope his injury is a minor one and he recovers quickly. May Allah keep us all safe whatever our personal political beliefs,” Tareen said in his tweet.

Awami National Party’s Afrasiab Khattak was the second to point out that the attack has something to do with the religion.

“Glad that he has survived the attack. Thoughts & prayers are with Ahsan Iqbal. Weaponising religion is a path to horrible disaster,” Khattak wrote.

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the incident and said: “Iqbal is safe”.

“Strongly condemn the assassination attempt on my friend Ahsan Iqbal. Just spoke to him & he is in high spirits MashaAllah. Those who indulged in this heinous act will be brought to justice... PMLN will not be browbeaten into submission. Prayers for quick recovery!! –ss”, Shehbaz wrote.

The ISPR also used Twitter to react to the incident.

Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor wrote, “COAS condemns firing on Federal Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal. Expresses best wishes for early recovery.”

Journalist Talat Hussain said that the motive of the attacker was religious and ‘he targeted Interior Minister over the Kahtme Nabuwat issue’.

“Attacker who fired and injured Pakistan’s Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal says he wanted to kill him because of Kathm-e-Nabuwat issue, admits to being under the influence of Tehrik-e-Labaik”, Hussain said.

The controversy started when the government removed certain clauses from the Constitution in Election Reform Bill 2017 that dealt with the finality of the prophethood (PBUH).

On the strong reaction from religious parties, the National Assembly reinstated clauses 7A and 7B related to Khatm-e-Nabuwwat (PBUH).

Shehryar Taseer, son of assassinated governor Salman Taseer, termed the attack cowardice.

“Completely condemn the cowardice attack against @betterpakistan (Ahsan Iqbal) & pray for a quick recovery. Also, prayers for his family as I know how difficult these times are for them too. God bless”, he said.

Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari strongly condemned the attack on the interior minister on his social media account.

Former ambassador Hussain Haqqani also hinted that the attacker had some religious motives.

“We have our differences of opinion but he is a dignified man with different views whom I respect. Wish cowards would learn how to debate rather than trying to kill or silence opinions they don’t like,” he said.

At a time, when some of the social media users were trying to interpret the incident, PPP stalwart Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan advised them to wait till the investigators came up with facts.

“Before linking the Attack on Ahsan Iqbal with anything, There should be complete & Independent Investigation. Using such incidents for Political Motives is very Shameful & Unethical”, Ahsan said.