Pakistan vote campaign halts over Imran Khan injury

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Pakistan's main parties on Wednesday suspended campaigning for weekend polls in honour of politician Imran Khan, who was in hospital with head and back injuries after falling at an election rally.

Television footage showed the retired cricket star and head of the Pakistan Movement for Justice party flat on his back in a hospital bed, wearing a neck brace, looking pale and groggy after his fall in the city of Lahore.

Doctors have advised one week's rest, throwing the rest of his campaign for Saturday's election into jeopardy, but say his injuries are not life-threatening.

A televised statement that Khan gave from his bed overnight, urging people to vote for his party, has since been re-released as a "paid content" advertisement for his PTI party, seeking to tap into a sympathy vote.

"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," the 60-year-old said in a weak voice.

Hospital spokesman Khawaja Nazir told AFP that Khan had one main head injury, two "fractures" to his back and a small injury to his shoulder.

"There is nothing serious to his injuries. He is in a private room, he is not in the ICU (intensive care unit). He has been shifted from the ICU to a private room," Nazir told AFP. Doctors are expected to provide a further update on his condition at 0900 GMT, but Nazir said that he has been "initially advised one week rest". Shafqat Mehmood, a spokesman for Khan's PTI party, acknowledged that the injuries could stop Khan appearing at any further election rallies.AFP



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