Leading Pakistani politician Imran Khan injured his head and back on Tuesday at a campaign rally when he fell from a make-shift mechanical lift in Lahore just four days before the much-anticipated May 11 elections. Television footage from local TV station Geo TV showed Khan and his two bodyguards fall 15 feet, and then followed with footage of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader being carried away into a private car with his eyes closed and blood smearing the side of his face.
Although the incident comes at a bad time, and will likely effect Khan’s campaigning in the next few days, the outpour of support for Khan coming in from both his opposition and his supporters alike has made one thing clear – whether Pakistanis agree with his politics or not, he is still revered and loved as one of Pakistan’s greatest leader and hero.
This was made even clearer when Nawaz Sharif, chief of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and Khan’s greatest adversary in the upcoming elections announced that he too was cancelling his party’s campaign rally on Wednesday as a show of solidarity with Khan. He also prayed for a speedy recovery for Khan at his rally on Tuesday, moments after the fall.
Khan, for his part, showed that he himself was worthy of both the love and reverence his country has shown him when, despite suffering from 14 stitches and a minor fracture in his skull, put his own suffering aside to speak to his supporters, even from his hospital bed.
In the end it is clear that whether Pakistanis are in solidarity with PTI and Imran Khan, which, many are according to polls, or are supporting the status quo parties, Khan is easily one of Pakistan’s most respected figures - and with good reason, as seen from his perseverance and devotion to Pakistan following his fall despite his own suffering — and come election day, this can only help him.