Though Imran Khan — who sustained injuries to his spine when he fell from a forklift at an election rally on Tuesday — is recovering, he had to pull out of the election campaign. Having been advised bed rest, he wouldn’t be able to cast his vote on Saturday in Mianwali, his home constituency.Doctors attending on Mr. Khan said his morale was high and another round of tests was being carried out on Wednesday evening to assess the duration of his treatment. He has suffered three fractures on his spinal column.Soon after his admission to the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital on Tuesday night, Mr. Khan gave an interview to a television channel in which he urged all Pakistanis to vote for his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Hoping to gain sympathy votes, the PTI quickly packaged his hospital bedside interview as an advertisement and it was being aired repeatedly across television channels. With the latest pre-election poll by Newsline magazine showing the PTI neck-and-neck with its arch rival, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), the Insaafians (as Mr. Khan’s supporters are called) hope the sympathy factor will give the party an edge over PML(N).
Already, the intense campaign of the PTI had pinned down the PML(N) to Punjab. Sensing the sympathy wave in favour of the cricketer-turned-politician, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced soon after the fall that his party had cancelled its campaigning scheduled for Wednesday in solidarity with the cricketing legend.