‘Will Khan make it?’, the haunting question always confronted Imran Khan in whatever he has set out to do either it is victory in cricket world cup, founding an entirely non-profit specialized cancer hospital in Pakistan and establishing a university, affiliated with an international university, in a rural area Mianwali or to be prime minister of Pakistan. Khan managed to accomplish all these feats in a time when all the odds were against him. So, no one could deny his work.
In the constituency where my vote is registered, NA 131, Lahore, the candidate was Imran Khan. On July 25, Khan won the election but vacated this constituency and three others in favor of NA-95.
What inspired me further of his zeal is his credibility that he would be able to gel this nation into a powerful and prosperous figure. He believes in moving forward. It was said that leading a team to victory in a sports tournament is no testament to his abilities as a politician. But in my view, his role as the captain of the world’s most successful cricket team has given him, an understanding of strong leadership; ‘cricket is the only sport where you need leadership on the pitch; no other sport gives so much of a role to the captain as in cricket’, he says.
A captain is like a shepherd who understands the needs of his flock, guides them, and directs them towards the best way. Good shepherding teaches many skills; taking care of the flock, having patience, gathering and protecting etc. Moreover, surrounding environment affects a lot in forming personalities and such environment facilitates the shepherds to think and meditate. A good shepherd who guides and controls his flock and bears the hardships in leading them would surely be a good leader. Similarly, our leaders should have all those qualities of good shepherds to lead the nation.
Khan has promised to make Pakistan as per the vision of former Pakistan leaders and thinkers Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal while addressing the media. Khan’s first victory speech has been widely hailed as balanced, highly matured and humble by analysts, broadcast journalists and the common mass.
“A young heart is always nearer to the truth,” Maxim Gorki. Khan, with young heart, mature mind, stable and down to earth approach, quite appropriate with wide vision has strong liking among Pakistani youth. His book, not only had a chapter dedicated to Allama Iqbal but Khan had repeatedly mentioned throughout the book how he had learnt from the great poet. Iqbal’s poetry affected the youth, belonging to a time of suppression and frustration. Iqbal’s words must have inspired youth and mobilized them beyond anything else. “I am the grandson of Allama Iqbal but the real symbolic successor of Iqbal on the political horizon of the country is Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan,” said Waleed Iqbal at the launch ceremony of PTI’s Youth Policy. “There isn’t a need to spread Iqbal’s message to common people now as PTI Chairman Imran has already done so.”
Khan in his book Pakistan: A Personal History describes that his cricketing life led him to realize that talent and dedication were no guarantee of success. He says, it comes down to luck. “Over the years I began to ask myself the question – could what we call luck actually be the will of God?” In fact, destination is determined by every person’s actions in this life, made on the basis of his or her free choice. Man has real ability and free will for choice and action. His ability to move and to believe is an action that is truly attributed to him.
Struggle remained a part of Khan’s life in one or another way. It is his greatest struggle to transform Pakistan cricket’s fortunes into exciting champions. Strength and growth come only through continuous struggle. Khan won, and to me one of the reasons for that is his absolute and unending pain for the people of Pakistan especially for the poor. His actions over the years show his caring attitude and strong will for better Pakistan.
Jamima’s conversion to Islam and settlement in Pakistan was another struggle beyond love the couple had; though later destiny had played its own role which cannot be denied. In 1994, Khan visited my mother-in-law who would live in purana Lahore Ravi road, along with Jamima, a young lady in simple white dress, with reference to Ashiq Hussian Qureshi. Khan was anxious for Jamima’s conversion to Islam and then to suggest an appropriate Muslim name for her. With the repeated question from my mother-in-law, ‘would she convert to islam?’ khan was seemed destined to marrying her. Jamima, later on, confirmed that she would accept Islam before marrying khan; that’s how khan achieved his landmark of getting married to the lady he wished for.
Allah Almighty, the best of planners, put his creature through various situations which is not understood at that time but later on the wisdom behind the condition is revealed. Khan believes in predestination and clearly looks for spiritual signposts as he moves to victory in the 2018 elections. He talked about his journey to spirituality in his life of sports and other good works. He went through a soul-searching conversion and raised millions of dollars to build a cancer hospital for the poor and he started to become more deeply interested in Islam. He moved away from the luxurious, lusty and artificial life for gaining public attention, saying that kind of life had never been very satisfying. “It looks from the outside very glamorous, great, but actually it’s not,” he told a British newspaper. “It’s these transitory relationships. They’re pretty empty.”
In 1996, he founded his Justice Movement. His party struggled in obscurity for years, barely winning any seat in Pakistan’s legislature, and for a time, Khan the superstar became ‘the joke’.
Besides the hypocritical ravings of “I’m the Dim” and “Taliban Khan”, Khan had to face criticism inside and outside Pakistan due to his international fame. In 2012, the controversial author of ‘The Satanic Verses’, Salman Rushdie attended the ‘India Today Conclave’ at Taj Palace, attended by a select group of invitees, where Khan skipped the function because of Rushdie’s participation. Rushdie, in turn, said, “Imran was told well in advance I was coming. Imran is a man of the old school. Maybe he doesn’t know how email works. This man wants to be the ruler of Pakistan.”
“What is he talking about?” Khan said in his reply, “I always hated his writing. He always sees the ugly side of things. He is, what is the word Jews use a ‘self-hating’ Muslim.”
It looks that Khan has the ability to clampdown on corruption, and will not compromise to make decisions on merit. I’ve seen over the years through his actions that he is destined to his will for better Pakistan. He enjoys genuine popularity across this country and a cordial relation with Pakistan’s domineering military. His anti-corruption rhetoric promotes the establishment of an Islamic-powerful state and advances a strong nationalistic agenda that appeal to the military as well as younger generation of educated Pakistanis. Pakistan’s economy and many public assets are in crisis, including the electricity grid and water supply. Khan will be leading a state that is facing serious economic and foreign policy challenges emphasizing his naya, or new Pakistan strategy. Iqbal says,
Sitaron Se Agay Jahan Aur Bhi Hain
Abhi Ishq Ke Imtihan Aur Bhi Hain
Other worlds exist beyond the stars
More tests of love are still to come.