Pakistan's Imran Khan in hospital after rally fall

Pakistani politician Imran Khan was being treated for a head injury Wednesday after falling at an election rally, the latest dramatic turn in a campaign that has seen more than 100 people killed in attacks.

Television footage showed Khan, leader of the Pakistan Movement for Justice party (PTI), bleeding from the head after tumbling from a makeshift lift transporting him onto a stage in Pakistan's second-largest city of Lahore.

But in a televised statement from his hospital bed shortly after, the former cricketer urged people to vote for his party in Saturday's polls.

"I did whatever I could for this country. Now remember 11th May, come out and vote for PTI without considering its candidates, just vote for PTI," he said, wearing a neck brace and speaking in a weak voice.

The former cricketer's accident came at the end of a day that saw 18 people killed and dozens wounded in bomb attacks in northwest Pakistan ahead of the general election.

In another attack Wednesday, one woman was killed and 15 people wounded when a suicide bomber crashed his explosives-packed car into a barrier outside a police station in the troubled northwest.

The poll will mark a democratic milestone in a country ruled for half its history by the military, as the first time a civilian government has served a full term and handed over to another through the ballot box.

Khan, who won only one seat in 2002 and boycotted polls in 2008, has led an electric campaign, galvanising the middle class and young people in what he has called a "tsunami" of support that will propel him into office.

The 60-year-old, who has undertaken a punishing schedule of daily rallies but who is known for his physical fitness, fell from an overcrowded lift platform at the election rally along with several of his staff.

Witness Raza Zaidi told AFP that Khan was being lifted on a crane with five people but lost his balance and fell when a sixth one tried to climb up. He hit the lift before falling on the ground.

"Imran Khan has one head injury. We are conducting his CT scan and other tests. He is stable, he is conscious and he is recognising people. He is all right," Faisal Sultan, the director of Shaukat Khanum hospital, told reporters.

PTI spokeswoman Shirin Mazari told AFP Khan was injured on his forehead after falling from a height of more than seven feet (two metres). Television images showed him being transported on a stretcher, his head swathed in bandages.

Supporters at the rally venue, where thousands had gathered, expressed their concern after the horrifying fall.

"Passion and love for Imran Khan brought all these people here. We are still here, all we can do is pray now," said Sobia Khan, a PTI supporter.

Party officials had initially said he would be back to address the rally but he was later transferred from a small private hospital to the Shaukat Khanum cancer hospital he set up in honour of his mother.

Hundreds of well-wishers and party supporters gathered outside the hospital, chanting "Long Live Imran Khan", an AFP reporter said.

Khan's main rival, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif who is tipped to win the election, conveyed his sympathies, his Pakistan Muslim League-N party spokesman Siddiqul Farooq told AFP.

Later, Sharif announced the cancellation of campaign activities on Wednesday.

Wednesday's blast at the police station brings the number of deaths in attacks on politicians and political parties since mid-April to 111, according to an AFP tally.

The Pakistani Taliban have condemned the polls as un-Islamic and directly threatened the main parties in the outgoing ruling coalition led by the secular Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

The suicide bomber struck early Wednesday in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which is rife with Taliban and Al-Qaeda-led militancy.

"We have confirmation of the death of one woman in the suicide attack near Domail police station in Bannu. More than 15 people have been wounded including six policemen and two kids," local police chief Abdul Ghafoor Afridi told AFP.

Afridi said seven houses and part of the police station also collapsed due to the impact of the blast.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …

  • Subaru XV now priced among sedans
    Subaru XV now priced among sedans

    Motor Image Philipinas (MIP), the authorized distributor of Subaru in the country, has positioned its brand new crossover SUV, the Subaru XV, well within the sedan segment’s price range. This move, according to MIP, was made to give the public an opportunity to experience the brand’s unique automotive technologies by lowering its price. Buyers of […] The post Subaru XV now priced among sedans appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options