Injured Pakistani politician Imran Khan may end campaigning

Boys in Peshawar, Pakistan, pray for the recovery of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan after he was injured in a fall at a campaign rally.
(Bilawal Arbab / EPA)

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Imran Khan, the former cricket star who heads up one of the leading parties in national elections set for Saturday, suffered three fractured vertebrae and a broken rib in a fall in the eastern city of Lahore this week and probably will not be able to return to campaigning, doctors and party leaders said Wednesday.

Khan, 60, and three of his security guards were being lifted up by a forklift to a rally stage in Lahore on Tuesday when they fell about 15 feet, officials said.

Doctors at the Lahore hospital where Khan is being treated said that, in addition to a cut to his head, he suffered the backbone fractures and a minor fracture in a left rib. There was no spinal cord damage, said Dr. Faisal Sultan, who is treating Khan.


Television images showed Khan dazed and bloodied as aides hurriedly carried him away from the rally. Khan’s advisors said he will not make any more campaign appearances on the advice of his doctors. Sultan said Khan is expected to make a full recovery.

Khan’s party, Movement for Justice, has been gaining momentum in recent weeks and is expected to put up a strong challenge to the country’s leading opposition party, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N, and President Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party, which has ruled the country for five years.

Pakistan election rules require all campaigning to end Friday, a day before voters head to the polls for parliamentary and provincial assembly elections, so Khan is expected to miss the final day of campaigning Thursday.


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