Pakistani cricket icon Imran Khan, whose political party won the third-most parliamentary seats in May 11 elections, was released from a hospital where he received treatment for injuries sustained in a fall at his final rally.
Khan fell 14-20 feet (4-5 meters) from a forklift hoisting him to a stage to address supporters in Lahore on May 7, fracturing a vertebra and sustaining head and neck injuries. He’s expected to rest at home for a few days, Shireen Mazari, a spokeswoman for Khan’s party, said in a phone interview.
Khan, 60, may be an influential voice in the next parliament, and Prime Minister-elect Nawaz Sharif visited him in the hospital to seek support as he prepares to address an economy crippled by record energy shortages and violent extremism. Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf, or Movement for Justice, is poised to form a coalition administration in the country’s northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa province where Taliban militants have staged deadly attacks against security forces and civilians.
Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League won 125 of 272 directly elected seats in the lower house of parliament and can form a government with the help of smaller parties and independents. Khan’s group won 28 seats, three fewer than the Pakistan Peoples Party of President Asif Ali Zardari that led the last coalition government.
A further 70 seats reserved for women and religious minorities will be allocated according to the final standing of parties in the ballot, taking the assembly to a total of 342 members. Parliament must reconvene within three weeks of an election.
The Geo TV network showed images late yesterday of Khan wearing a cervical collar as he walked around the hospital in Lahore where he was treated.
Pakistan’s parliamentary elections marked the first time in the nation’s history that one elected civilian administration completed its five-year term and handed power to a successor.
To contact the reporter on this story: Haris Anwar in Islamabad at firstname.lastname@example.org;
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at email@example.com