ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Nawaz Sharif, seen as the front-runner in Pakistan’s election race, said he would not allow militant groups to attack India from his country and would work to improve ties with rival New Delhi if elected.
“If I become the prime minister I will make sure that the Pakistani soil is not used for any such designs against India,” Sharif told CNN-IBN in an interview.
Despite recent strains, India and Pakistan’s relations have improved after nose-diving in 2008 when gunmen killed 166 people in Mumbai in a three-day rampage that India blamed on a Pakistani militant group.
According to opinion polls, Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) is expected to win Saturday’s general election after capitalizing on the failure of the outgoing Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to tackle everything from power cuts to a Taliban insurgency.
Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who has formed his own party, has become one of Pakistan’s most popular politicians and could be a major partner in a coalition government, analysts say.
Khan was injured when he fell off a mechanical lift raising him onto a stage at a rally on Tuesday. He fell as the lift was just short of a platform 15 feet off the ground in the eastern city of Lahore, witnesses said.
Khan fractured a rib, said Haroon Sultan, the chief doctor at a hospital where he is being treated. “We will examine him after three days and will decide how much rest he needs,” said Sultan. “He will be fine soon.”
The accident could win Khan some last-minute sympathy votes as he recovers.