Groundswell of support: As Imran falls, nation rises in sympathy

Published: May 8, 2013
PTI chief Imran Khan, seconds before falling off a forklift. PHOTO: PTI SOCIAL MEDIA

PTI chief Imran Khan, seconds before falling off a forklift. PHOTO: PTI SOCIAL MEDIA


Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s relentless campaigning for a ‘Naya Pakistan’ has sparked hope among his supporters that there will be a change if he wins the general elections.

But on Tuesday, four days before the historic polls on May 11, the whole nation gasped in unison when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief fell 14 to 16 feet off a forklift while being raised onto a stage at an election rally in Ghalib Market, Lahore. He suffered a fractured skull and spinal injuries and was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital.

The PTI leader was scheduled to address a public gathering in the NA-126 constituency from which PTI’s Shafqat Mahmood is contesting.

An eyewitness and PTI member present at the rally said there were six people on the lift, three of whom were Khan’s personal bodyguards. A guard lost his balance while standing on the edge of the lift when it was at a height of around 12 feet.

“The guard was holding Khan’s hand and pulled him towards himself and the four people on the lift fell off. He first fell on the top of the lift and then fell on the ground, receiving the head injury.
He fell on one of the guards which saved him from receiving any serious injury,” said Imtiaz Hussain Sherazi.

Party workers picked up the dazed Khan immediately to get him to a hospital.

“The workers carried him and put him in the back seat of a vehicle. Khan was taken to the nearby private Fazal Hospital in Liberty Market. He was conscious and looked towards people around him,” said Sobia Khan, another PTI worker.

Khan was given first aid at the hospital and the wound on his head was stitched.

“He had a cut some six inches long on the lower part of his head. He was stable, conscious and moving all four limbs. He had severe pain in his back. There was no neurological damage” said Dr Shafique, who examined Khan at Fazal Hospital.

He was then transported to Shaukat Khanum Hospital, the charitable institution he helped build.

“Imran Khan is stable and healthy. He has a small skull fracture but no serious internal injury. He will be kept at Shaukat Khanum Hospital for one night and then re-examined in the morning,” said the hospital Chief Executive Officer, Dr Faisal Sultan.

PTI leader Shafqat Mahmood said doctors had advised the party to not take part in the remaining election campaigning.

Speaking to a private TV channel while lying on the hospital bed, Khan said he had done his job and now it was the peoples turn to come out and vote for the change and make a new Pakistan.

Later, a PTI spokesman told a TV channel that Khan’s scheduled address at a rally in Islamabad on May 9 would go ahead. But it was not clear whether he would appear at the rally or address it via telephone.

Politicians pray for recovery

Politicians set aside their rivalries to pray for a full recovery for PTI chief Imran Khan.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain cancelled his public addresses across the country following the incident. Calling him a national leader, the MQM leader urged people to pray for his recovery.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif also suspended his election campaign to express sympathies with Khan. He prayed for a quick recovery.

Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Najam Sethi arrived immediately at Shaukat Khanam Hospital following the Khan’s accident to inquire about his health.

Later, speaking to the media, Sethi said a Rescue 1122 ambulance was present in Ghalib Market. But due to the size of the crowd, he was not taken to the ambulance. However, the superintendent of police Model Town personally took Imran Khan to Fazal Hospital.

He said the SP and other senior officers then shifted him to Shaukat Khanam Hospital in an ambulance with full security. All traffic signals were switched off to take him quickly to the hospital.

Tributes pour in on Twitter

As people waited with baited breath for news of Khan’s health, many, including politicians, former cricketers, all prayed for his health on twitter and #PrayersForImranKhan and #GetWellSoonIK were the topmost trending topics in Pakistan.

PTI leader Asad Umar tweeted: “CT scan results show only a minor fracture. IK will be fine inshallah though he is in a lot of pain.”

Former West Indian cricketing great Brian Lara said: “Imran Khan out of danger. Thank God! Get well soon great man. Continue striving for what you believe in.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (68)

  • Haris Chaudhry
    May 8, 2013 - 4:01AM

    This is unfortunate and tragic. I don’t agree with most of his policies but as a man, he is steadfast, persistent and a person of conviction.

    Get well IK and hope you do well in elections.

    The nation is praying for your full recovery.


  • Baset
    May 8, 2013 - 4:03AM

    He’s down but He’s not Out. He has fallen but He will rise. He is a roaring tiger, he can be bruised but his wounds would heal. He’s on a special mission to build a Naya Pakistan. Imran Khan the entire nation is praying for your fast recovery.


  • May 8, 2013 - 4:03AM

    Imran fall but the Nation rises.

    17 years of hard work for this Nation is not futile, today every supporter, believer and worker of Khan is a striking reflection of Khan.

    We are all Khan today.

    Khan may fall but his idea stands firm.

    Today I am Khan, ARE YOU?


  • Pakistani Agnostic (Riyadh)
    May 8, 2013 - 4:04AM

    I have a lot of disagreements with IK and still am confused as to who to vote for but never before i have cried for a politician (maybe except when ZAB got executed). Imran Khan, Pakistan needs you. We will nothing but orphans. Come back


  • Omar
    May 8, 2013 - 4:05AM

    Get well soon Kaptaan!!
    Waiting for the promises of Justice, Tsunami and Naya Pakistan!!
    PTI Zindabad
    Pakistan Zindabad


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 8, 2013 - 4:11AM

    PTI trolls had been laughing if Mian Sahib had fallen. This is the difference between a civilized party and badtameez young generation.


  • Zeffos
    May 8, 2013 - 4:12AM

    One more round Imran, I didn’t hear no bell. Get up, coz Mickey loves ya!!


  • Bercha
    May 8, 2013 - 4:16AM

    I hope you feel better soon IK,Inshallah !


  • Rafi
    May 8, 2013 - 4:23AM

    If Imran becomes PM after this incident, I hope he and the people all realise how important it is to build institutions based on highest ethical principles, for they will outlive an individual, who in the end is a mere humble mortal.
    God bless all the sincere Pakistnis trying to make a gentler, fairer and progressive Pakistan.


  • imran bhatt
    May 8, 2013 - 4:27AM

    It is indeed a very good news Mr Khan did not hurt himself seriously and I wish him very speedy recovery. However, judging from the responses it appears getting injured by falling off the the stage attracts more condemnation than people being killed by TTP. There is something seriously wrong with Pakistan society.


  • rk
    May 8, 2013 - 4:31AM

    before ‘standing’ for elections it is necessary to learn how to stand..


  • May 8, 2013 - 4:31AM

    He can’t even lead an election campaign properly without falling over or fainting. How will he lead the country?


  • Hazel McSweeney
    May 8, 2013 - 4:36AM

    All my thoughts are with Imran.He is a truly good man and his country needs him.


  • Abid Ali
    May 8, 2013 - 4:41AM

    Imran Khan is a living legend who loves his people and worked for them. He has sacrificed his beautiful family and life for public welfare in politics and social work. Our prayers and support is with this brave son of the land.


  • Insaan
    May 8, 2013 - 4:48AM

    He suffered a fractured skull and spinal injuries and was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital.

    That seems serious. I wish him well. Election is over for him.


  • J
    May 8, 2013 - 4:50AM

    A True Leader……


  • Babloo
    May 8, 2013 - 5:15AM

    Hope Imran gets well soon. However this is politically good for him but disastorous for PML-N and also for Pakistan. Imran , with no sustainable political base, will be powerless and a hostage of the establishment. I expect foolish , damaging policies from him based on false bravado, which seems to be his main ailment.


  • Usman
    May 8, 2013 - 5:32AM

    But he is doing politics from ICU bed. He taunts president Zardari for going to dubai for health, but prefers to go to his own hospital for treatment but not in govt hospital. Shane on SHMH for allowing interview in ICU. which icu in world allows cameras in icu. this proves double standard and munfiqat.

    Wish him good health.


  • Imtiaz hamid
    May 8, 2013 - 5:34AM

    I wish Imran Khan well and speedy recovery. Whether I agree with his political agenda or not it is immaterial. We all pray for his recovery. I hope his physicians ( with his permission) give factual and correct information about his condition and chances of recovery. History is replete with misinformation about leaders from Eisenhower to Mr Jinah. You donot want somebody who is not fully capable to handle affairs of state. One could say second term or Mr Regan was pretty good despite ….Again we all share in the hope for his well being.


  • sensible
    May 8, 2013 - 5:35AM

    Pak nation has risen with fall of IK. #IamImranKhan


  • tahira
    May 8, 2013 - 5:50AM

    @imranbhatt It is called misplaced priorities of a nation suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.


  • mehdi
    May 8, 2013 - 5:50AM

    I saw the video clip of the incident. Hoping for his early recovery. It was funny 4 people were holding him tightly and the fork lift was lifting them towards the stage. This kind of incident can only happen in Pakistan. Why would you be using fork lift to transport human being and above an important political leader. Doesn’t the security team plan these things out on how to transport important people while they are campaigning.


  • Falcon
    May 8, 2013 - 5:53AM

    Really heartening to hear that Khan is in a safe condition now. I have rarely seen the unity that I saw today where people across the ranks (even his worst critics prayed for him). I hope and pray that we can pull together the same spirit in getting this country out of the current morass.


  • Baset
    May 8, 2013 - 5:58AM

    @ Ch Allah Dad stop being a loser for once and stop speculating false thoughts. You should be ashamed of yourself for even bringing that up !


  • Just a thought
    May 8, 2013 - 6:01AM

    I wish Imran Khan a speedy recovery. He is my childhood hero and has inspired me. However, although the news of this fall has saddened me, and for a moment dreaded the worst, realising the true value of this great man. After seeing the interview on TV from the hospital, I can’t help but think…. Is Imran Khan now milking this unfortunate fall for the benefit of his campaign?

    May Allah give him good health. Pakistan and Pakistanis need him.


  • Usman
    May 8, 2013 - 6:20AM

    @Haris Chaudhry:
    First Prize of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.


  • visibly invisible
    May 8, 2013 - 6:21AM

    I wish him and the guards quick recovery. But I have to say it was a stupid move to use a forklift and wooden skids as an elevator. A person running for the top most job in the country needs to be more careful than that. Whatever happened to putting safety first.


  • Usman
    May 8, 2013 - 6:22AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: Better get used to this so called ‘badtameez’ generation as they will rule you very soon. Time for dinosaurs is up.


  • GreatThinker
    May 8, 2013 - 6:22AM

    Whats the latest on the others who fell along with IK? Or are they unworthy enough to be ignored?


  • prashanth aka upkamath
    May 8, 2013 - 6:58AM

    Hope his plans of lifting the country is not similar!


  • prashanth aka upkamath
    May 8, 2013 - 7:00AM

    Who planned to use a forklift as a passenger one? Looks like that feller already had a couple of Head injuries.


  • jssidhoo
    May 8, 2013 - 7:08AM

    Get well soon Imran Pakistan needs a honest man like you at the helm . The most important task of your life , getting Pakistan out of this mess , has not yet begun . This is a much bigger responsibility than any world cup . There are lot of hopes from you .


  • maestro
    May 8, 2013 - 7:10AM

    Can you go to 5/6 rallies in 5/6 cities/villages in one day for 2 weeks straight without being exhausted? Can you?? If you can, then speak, stupid fool.


  • Usman
    May 8, 2013 - 7:47AM

    PMLN’s eagerness to sympathise with Imran Khan, not due to any sense of tragedy, but to nullify any sort of political sympathy for Imran Khan, is evident and deplorable.


  • Water Bottle
    May 8, 2013 - 7:55AM

    Looking at this overwhelming support for IK who doesn’t even have clear policies, make me wonder what will happen to Pakistanis in a year?

    Pakistanis, unlike others, believe in Josh, Jazba, Junoon. Pakistanis believe in Messiah. Pakistanis believe in revolution.

    None of these things has ever helped in the progress of a country, throughout history. You will not find one single example where a revolution/Messiah has helped the country develop. On the contrary you will see these things bringing countries down.

    So, what will happen to Pakistan when IK, with his inane policies, bring the country down.

    Hope IK doesn’t bring Pakistan down just like how he brought himself down.


  • Junaid
    May 8, 2013 - 8:03AM

    Praying for the great man! …may Allah give wisdom to the people of Pakistan to vote for him to save their future inshallah. Wish you get well soon champ! ameen


  • Ricky
    May 8, 2013 - 8:06AM

    Get well IK, you have become the hero of Islamic Republic. There would be more difficult tasks this is just the beginning. Here is a great picture of our hero:


  • Intelektual
    May 8, 2013 - 8:25AM

    Lack of Basic first aid awarness, Lack of organization and planning, and unrealistic delusion about self summerize the incident. No matter how pure and true the intentions without practicle steps there’s always a high risk of “Fall”.
    GWS IK. May this be a learning experiance for all.


  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    May 8, 2013 - 8:45AM

    My heart goes out to IK, I hope he recover fast form his injuries, it is good news that he has no serious spinal injury and has movements in his limbs. May God gives him the strength to lead this country.It is also good to know that all the political leadership is united and extend their good wishes,although it was unfortunate accident but it brought the goodness in all Pakistanis. May God bless you all.


  • N.M.Mitha
    May 8, 2013 - 9:17AM

    “Hum dekhein gein.. Lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhein gein”

    Dear Khan, Thanks to almighty Allah that you are out of danger.. Inshallah We will all see New Pakistan on 11th May-2013

    May Allah bless you for what you believe in.. and May give you success.. keep on striving for good for your nation.. we are indeed with you…


  • Max
    May 8, 2013 - 9:32AM

    Imran Khan is our true leader. May Allah give him quick recovery and good health. Ameen.Recommend

  • paki
    May 8, 2013 - 9:43AM

    It was a flop show of Imran Khan hardly 100 people were there for Imran Jalsa…


  • rashid zaidi
    May 8, 2013 - 9:43AM

    He will soon lead Pakistan to a better future InshaAllah. It is unfortunate that we are so primitive. How can you not have a better way of hoisting a precious commodity like Imran Khan on to a raised platform, he is lucky that he did not get gravely injured, thank God. Let him rest no more rallies, he has much to do when he is elected. Go and vote, be wise, the nation awaits a big win, so that things can be turned around for a prosperous Pakistan.


  • Fawad
    May 8, 2013 - 9:46AM

    Get well soon IK. We need you


  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    May 8, 2013 - 10:23AM

    ET get your facts right! He has no spinal injury. Two of his cervicle vertebrae have minor fractures without dislocation and laceration of the scalp. Pls dont dramatize. He will rise, much higher than before.


  • Iram
    May 8, 2013 - 10:27AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: Sir, You did not speak a sympathy word and not forget to criticize PTI at this time. Criticizing youth but demonstrating the same.


  • Aamir
    May 8, 2013 - 10:43AM

    We need you Khan ! to help build a better future for our nation. We all pray that may Allah give you a speedy recovery and you be at forefront of making a Naya Pakistan !


  • Imran Khan devotee
    May 8, 2013 - 11:07AM

    Imran had proven his worth again and again. Be it cricket or Social service for humanity. The courage of this man is astonishing and outstanding. His speech from hospital bed was coming from his heart I can feel it and I believe every true pakistani can feel it. The vision he has given will not fade out he has ignated the fire and I am sure there are many more Imran Khan in the offing. I strongly believe and pray may the circus tigers face the dust of defeat once and for all. The youth has taken the charge. Yes we are batameez for those who have looted our dearest homeland and given nothing to this nation except misery. yes we are batameez because we want change and remeber change is always resisted but it had to come and it will come. The is silent Tusnami coming not seen on the political landscape “the silent voters” will change the game alltogether and everyone will be surprised when IK will win with more than 2/3rd mijority and will be our next prime minister. The only sincere leader after Quaid-e-Azam this country has generated.


  • May 8, 2013 - 11:16AM

    “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

    Get well soon, Kaptaan. The next ball must be an ‘inswinging yorker.” Salams


  • May 8, 2013 - 11:19AM

    If Nawaz Sharif would have fallen from this much height he wont be standing for months its Khan sahib courage and dedication for nation that he recovered so fast.

    Khan sb we all love you and INSHALLAH you will our next prime minister and INSHALLAH our destiny is NAYA PAKISTAN


    ALI from Karachi


  • Sultan
    May 8, 2013 - 11:30AM

    @ch. Allahdad- Your comment shows your hypocracy, we don’t need to say anything more. This is all IK is fighting against


  • Saqib
    May 8, 2013 - 11:36AM

    Never before had there been tears in my eyes for a politician.
    The nation needs to rise and vote this great man. Get hold of whatever that may cause you to get out and vote for him; be it your emotions, your logic, his philanthropy, his determination, his ideology, his charm, his athletism, or even the dislike of others.

    Please, it is a plea from my side, 11th of may is the day to come forward and take responsibility for this nation. Vote for Pakistan, vote for PTI, vote for Imran Khan.


  • Rugby Player
    May 8, 2013 - 11:37AM

    @Water Bottle – Turkey. The old USSR post the Tsarist exit and pre-Stalin. Read some history.

    Revolution brings change by definition an a step in the right direction will not turn us into a Belgium or a Germany, but two steps back with the old guard will lead us no where but darkness.


  • Athar
    May 8, 2013 - 12:33PM

    Thanks God, he got a new life.


  • Yousaf
    May 8, 2013 - 12:43PM

    @ Ch. Allahdad

    Look at facebook how your party workders making this look like political stunt…PMLN can stoop to any level…


  • Athar
    May 8, 2013 - 12:44PM

    Its was shocking and heart breaking until we heard a news that he is out of danger at Shaukat Khanam Hospital.


  • faizan
    May 8, 2013 - 12:52PM

    “A champion is not the one who wins always. A champion is the one who knows how to pick himself up when he is down on the mat”.

    Imran Khan
    The tipping point, 2011


  • Water Bottle
    May 8, 2013 - 1:38PM

    @Rugby Player:

    ” Turkey. The old USSR post the Tsarist exit and pre-Stalin. Read some history. “

    Sorry mate. Turkey was not a revolution, nor was there a messiah.

    USSR. What is that?! Where is it today?

    Don’t misinterpret history or you clearly do not understand what is a messiah.


  • Kazim Muneer
    May 8, 2013 - 1:41PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    “Badtameez Young Generation” or BYG for short. Sir, who is responsible for the BYG? Parents? Children learn from their Parents. For BYG, parent is to be blamed!


  • Water Bottle
    May 8, 2013 - 1:42PM


    “Never before had there been tears in my eyes for a politician.”

    Here it is the 3 Js : Junoon, Josh, Jazba.

    People said the same things when ZA Bhutto was around. He practically destroyed your country.

    Rational thinking will tell you that Imran Khan is a dream-seller without any vision. I think the main reason why he got into politics is because he got bored with his own life.


  • Kazim Muneer
    May 8, 2013 - 1:44PM

    @Water Bottle:
    Please revisit your history lessons. History is full of examples when People overcome hurdles with sheer “junoon” under an inspirational (and true to word) leader.


  • ALI
    May 8, 2013 - 1:47PM

    YES, ALL OVERSEAS Pakistanis yesterday pray for IMRAN KHAN, I really shocked when I saw this tragedy. what IK done from the last 17 year his hard work, INSHALLAH will
    bring the Result. so IMRAN KHAN is done enough for during election compaign . NOW this our turn to bring on him to PrimeMinster of Pakistan.

    when I saw him again, in hospital talking to people of Pakistan, I can’t stop my emotions,
    PLEASE I urge to people of pakistani VOTE TO PTI. leave the other parties.


  • Khalid Imtiaz
    May 8, 2013 - 2:04PM

    “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
    (Confucius) Well Said !!!


  • Pakistani
    May 8, 2013 - 2:21PM

    PTI trolls had been laughing if Mian Sahib had fallen. This is the difference between a civilized party and badtameez young generation. I agree with Ch sb


  • tahir zain
    May 8, 2013 - 2:58PM

    A 16 feet drop and no permanent injury!
    Damn! He really is thick skulled after all!


  • Akku
    May 9, 2013 - 9:26AM

    @tahir zain:
    Better a thick skull than an empty head.


  • Jude Allen
    May 9, 2013 - 1:02PM

    Up until this unfortunate incident, I was in no mind to go cast my vote.. In any case I’m not a supporter of democracy. However, after seeing the determination in IK after the tragic fall, I am compelled to leave the comfort of my home and get out early-morning with family to go cast votes at unfavorable poll-station locations that we would not go to even on normal days. Get well IK. Hope every vote counts to see you PM :)


  • common man
    May 9, 2013 - 7:15PM

    why so much hue and cry for IK while knowing nothing will come out even if he wins the election. What abt the other guards who were injured, nothing from them. Are they not human beings or what?. IK here IK there. Im getting sick and tired of this man and his socalled naya Pakistan slogan. I feel sorry for people who supports him only to find out that he is going to do nothing for this country. By the way im not a member of other government parties. All parties are the same. lies lies and lies


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