Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Sunday visited Lahore’s Services Hospital to inquire after health of Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal .

The prime minister was accompanied by Defence Minster Khurram Dastagir.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was shot last week as he was leaving a constituency meeting surrounded by supporters in Punjab province.

The suspected gunman, arrested at the scene, is Abid Hussain, 21, a youth leader of the Islamist Tehreek-e-Labbaik party, police said in an interrogation report.

The party, known as Labbaik, has made the emotive issue of blasphemy its rallying cry in a country where for years hardline Islamists have vied for power with civilian politicians and a coup-prone military.

Hussain told police he was inspired by the teachings of founders of the Labbaik and joined a party blockade of the capital, Islamabad, in November aimed at forcing out a government minister they accused of blasphemy over a change to an oath-taking law.

Iqbal’s shooting has stoked fears of a repeat of the pre-election Islamist violence that has blighted polls before, including the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

It has also compounded unease about blasphemy.

Even accusations of blasphemy can lead to mob killings and those convicted of blasphemy face the death penalty, though no death sentences for it have been carried out.

Many clerics say even to suggest change to the blasphemy law is blasphemy.

In November, Labbaik blocked a main road into the capital for several days over the small change to the election law. The government explained the change as a clerical error and reversed it. The minister responsible resigned.

Hussain joined the protests determined to “send any blasphemer to hell”, police said in their report.

Seven people were killed and 200 wounded when police tried to clear the blockade.

Police said Hussain had cited the example of Mumtaz Qadri, a bodyguard of the governor of Punjab who gunned down the man he was meant to protect in 2011 over the governor’s call for reform of the blasphemy law.

Qadri, who was convicted of murder, sentenced to death and executed in 2016, has become a martyr for hardliners, and Labaik emerged out of a movement that lionized him.

Hussain bought a pistol several months ago and later got hold of bullets, police said in the report.

Two days before the shooting, he got a WhatsApp message from a resident of the town where Iqbal was shot, telling him the minister was due.

Hours before the meeting, Hussain washed, put on smart clothes and went early to wait, police said.

“When Ahsan Iqbal came down from the stage and was encircled with party workers, Abid stood up and fired.”