Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's vehicle was shot at on Wednesday afternoon as his motorcade was on its way to the international airport along the Islamabad-Rawalpindi highway.
The convoy was going to receive the prime minister at the airport, and thus neither he, nor any of his staff, was travelling in the vehicle.
No major damage was suffered as the vehicle was bullet proof, information minister Sherry Rehman told journalists. Rehman confirmed that Gilani was safe. No injuries were reported either. .
But the brazen manner in which the attack was carried in a high security zone has shocked the country. The spot where it occurred is very close to the one where four supporters of former PM Nawaz Sharif were shot at on Dec 27, 2007 a few hours before Sharif was due to address his election campaign rally in Rawalpindi.
The attack comes at a time when Pakistan is fighting a war against religious militants in the North West Frontier Province and in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Militant groups, including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan have threatened to attack key Pakistani installations and persons in response to the army operation.
Two bullets are believed to have been fired but local police stated that they were unable to recover any bullet shells. A police official said that it is possible the attack was "more of a warning and not an assasination attempt." In the previous government, President Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao all survived assasination attempts.
A statement issued by the prime minister's office said: "Of the multiple sniper shots fired at the prime minister's vehicle, two hit the window on the driver's side. However, because of the robust and comprehensive security measures, the prime minister and all the members of his motorcade remained unharmed." Television pictures showed the shattered glass of the driver's door.