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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Imran Khan Gives Speech From Hospital as Pakistan Vote Nears

Imran Khan, who was rushed to the hospital this week after falling from a forklift during an election event, addressed supporters of his party at a rally on Thursday via video link from his hospital bed, taking advantage of a final opportunity to campaign before Pakistan’s general elections on Saturday.

The official Twitter feed of his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which carried the live video stream, has also posted updates on the condition of Mr. Khan, 60, since his fall on Tuesday, when he and two other men were knocked off a mechanical lift after another man climbed aboard.

It also carried updates from the rally on Thursday, the last day of campaigning before Saturday’s elections.

Before his appearance, Mr. Khan had been updating his official Twitter feed from the hospital.

Arif Rafiq, a Pakistan analyst at the Middle East Institute, posted a screen grab on his Twitter feed @ArifCRafiq showing Mr. Khan getting ready for the speech and then speaking.

Video of Mr. Khan’s fall had been widely broadcast this week, including this footage from Pakistan’s Geo TV.

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Footage of Mr. Khan’s fall broadcast by Pakistan’s Geo TV.

As my colleague Salman Masood reported on Thursday, the already violence-ridden campaign was thrown into further tumult when unidentified gunmen kidnapped Ali Haider Gilani, a son of former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

The younger Mr. Gilani, believed to be in his mid-20s, was campaigning in a suburb of Multan, the family’s power base, as a candidate for the Punjab provincial assembly.

Pakistan’s Taliban has threatened to disrupt the voting on Saturday by carrying out suicide bombings.

Follow Christine Hauser on Twitter @christineNYT.