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Imran Khan to Address Last Rally from Hospital

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan will address the last election rally of Islamabad through video link from his hospital room where he is currently being treated for his back and head injury, Geo News reported Thursday.

According to sources, the doctors treating the PTI leader at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital have allowed him restricted movements due to which it is not possible for Imran to address the rally from the venue. Therefore, it was resolved that he will address the last gathering at D-Chowk through video link.

The preparations for the rally are in full swing in Islamabad where others PTI leaders including Javed Hashmi, Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Shirin Mazari will also address.

Imran Khan was shifted to a private room from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Earlier while briefing the media, Dr Faisal Sultan who is treating Khan said the PTI chairman will remain on bed rest for two to three days. Dr Sultan further said that Khan had not received a skull fracture and is quickly recovering.

The CT scan revealed a series of fractures to Khan’s spine, one in his neck, another in a rib and an injury to his scalp. But Sultan stressed that Khan’s spinal canal was intact and “he is in total control of all limbs and body functions”.

Imran Khan ruled out any conspiracy behind the ‘accident’ and told that his bulletproof vest had protected him from serious back injury.

Imran Khan was injured when he fell from a makeshift lift during an election rally in Lahore on Tuesday.

Imran Khan in Stable Condition After Fall

Pakistani cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan, who was injured after he fell down from a “lifter” in Lahore Tuesday, is in stable condition, his spokesman and party leaders said.

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 said 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 said 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 said.

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 said.

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

PTI Gives Karachiites a Choice to Bring About Change: Imran

KARACHI: Chairman Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan says he wants to give Karachiites a choice to decide whether they wanted to “change” their future, Geo News reported.

“More than to reach out to PTI workers I was here to offer Karachiites at large an opportunity to be the part of the change we want to bring about in Pakistan. The choice is theirs”, PTI leader said in a press talk at the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport here.

He urged the people to elect PTI to government for their better future while advising them not to vote for the political parties with militant elements under their wings.

In order to salvage the financial hub of Pakistan from the jagged jaws of organized violent crime some major reforms would need to be made, adding he said it should start with the disbanding of political parties’ militant wings on war footings.

He explained that the parties with militant wings would never reform the police department as to them it would be like shooting in their own foot.

Owing to the lawlessness, rampant in the largest city of Pakistan, the future of its youth was growing dimmer and dimmer, Khan said sadly.

“Just one business seems to be booming in Karachi, which is kidnapping for ransom”, said he.

Karachi had been suffering from unrest for the past 10 years, particularly over the last 5 years, it needed to end before it was too late, Khan added.

Replying to a question, he said Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was PTI’s main rival in Karachi and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the rest of the Sindh province.

Commenting on his not addressing a single election gathering in Karachi, he said, unfortunately the law & order situation prevailing in the city was stopping them from holding election rallies here.

“God forbid if something untoward comes to pass during a gathering it will mar our campaign around Pakistan”, said he.

To a question, as to how many seats would PTI win in Karachi, Imran said: “I am afraid I cannot give you a figure but hopefully we will try to take our best shot.”

Talking around a question, he refrained from dropping any clues about PTI’s post-vote allies.

Musharraf Case Adjourned

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court full bench on Monday deferred for indefinite period the hearing of a petition moved by Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf challenging a tribunal’s decision to disqualify him to contest elections from NA-139 of Kasur.

The bench passed the orders when it came to know that the All Pakistan Muslim League headed by Musharraf had announced boycotting May 11 elections.

“The court will first hear the cases of those candidates who are participating in the elections,” the bench observed.

Earlier, Advocate Salman Safdar, counsel of the APML chief, submitted the tribunal had exceeded the powers while disqualifying the ex-president to contest elections from NA-139. It was not the powers of the election tribunal to disqualify a candidate under allegations of subverting the constitution of Pakistan, the counsel contended.

At this, the bench questioned why he had filed the petition against disqualification when his party, APML, had boycotted the elections. The counsel replied he wanted to remove the allegations leveled on his client.

The bench observed the cases of contesting candidates would be decided first, adjourning the hearing for indefinite time.

Pervez Musharraf had submitted in his petition that the tribunal had disqualified him to contest elections on the grounds of that he had not qualified the criteria of Article 62 and 63 of the constitution.

In a relevant development, the LHC was requested through a writ petition to cancel the registration of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and issue directions to the Election Commission of Pakistan in this regard.

Advocate Afaq Ahmad stated in his petition that Pervez Musharraf had been disqualified to contest elections by the election tribunal on the grounds of not fulfilling the criteria of Article 62 and 63 of the constitution.

ECP Investigating Recovery of Fake Ballot Papers

ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ibrahim said on Monday that investigations have begun into the seizure of 90,000 fake ballot papers recovered by police in Lower Dir.

“We are investigating the culprits behind the 90,000 fake ballot papers apprehended in Lower Dir by the local police. Rest assured I will take action,” the chief election commissioner said.

Police on Sunday claimed recovering 90,000 ballot papers from a vehicle in Lower Dir’s Chakdara area.

DIG Malakand range Obaidullah Khan told Dawn.com that the police team had recovered and confiscated the ballot papers for NA elections during the search of a vehicle and that the papers were not carrying the seal of the Election Commission of Pakistan and therefore appeared fake.

Two persons were also taken into custody and were booked under sections 419, 420, 468 and 471 of the PPC.

The fake ballot papers were meant for NA-34 constituency of Lower Dir.

Meanwhile, Secretary Election Commission Ishtiaq Ahmed hailed the action taken by the police team saying the preparation and transportation of ballot papers was being carried out under military supervision to minimise risk of ballots leakage and bogus voting.

Musharraf’s Plight a Lesson for Army Top Brass Against Misadventure

Lahore, May 6 (ANI): Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has said that the plight of former president Pervez Musharraf should serve as an example to other top brass who may be planning a takeover.

Nawaz recalled how the former army chief had toppled his government in a bloodless coup in 1999. He said Pakistan is undergoing a transition, adding that this accountability which is now taking place is itself a lesson to all those who have any such designs in the future, reports the Daily Times.

Nawaz also said the country should reconsider its support for the US war on militancy and suggested that he was in favour of negotiations with the Taliban.

Army offensives have weakened the Pakistani Taliban but they have failed to break the movement’s back. He said the military’s US-backed campaign against Taliban not best way to defeat insurgency.

Nawaz said he wants a review of the backing provided for the US war on militancy under the previous government’s approach. (ANI)

Police Seize 90000 Fake Ballot Papers in Lower Dir

LOWER DIR/PESHAWAR: Secretary Election Commission Ishtiaq Ahmed confirmed on Sunday that the police report over the seizure 90,000 fake ballot papers in Lower Dir was received by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Police had earlier claimed the recovery of 90,000 ballot papers from a vehicle in Chakdara area of Lower Dir on Sunday.

DIG Malakand range Obaidullah Khan told Dawn.com that the police team recovered and confiscated the National Assembly ballot papers during the search of a vehicle and that the papers were not carrying the seal of the Election Commission of Pakistan and appeared to be fake.

Two persons were also taken into custody and were booked under sections 419, 420 , 468 and 471 of the PPC.

The fake ballot papers were meant for NA-34 constituency of Lower Dir.

Meanwhile Ishtiaq Ahmed hailing the police team that had recovered the fake ballot papers said that the preparation and transportation of the ballot papers was being carried out under the Army’s supervision to minimise risk of ballots leakage and fake voting.

He added that the use of fake ballot papers was curtailed and those who were using them should no longer dream of applying them to use.

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