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From Cricketer to Prime Minister of Pakistan: The Life Journey of Imran Khan

Imran Khan, The Iconic Figure of Pakistan

Imran Khan is the former cricketer and ex-prime minister of Pakistan. His full name is Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi. He is 69 years old and was born on October 5, 1952, in Lahore, Pakistan. He is the top Pakistani cricketer the country has ever had. He is also well-known as a lawmaker and humanitarian, and he served the country admirably as Prime Minister of Pakistan during his time.

He became prime minister in 2018. His success story is not an easy one. He struggled hard for 22 years to become the prime minister of Pakistan. He first became the most prominent public hero in the year 1992 by leading Pakistan's cricket team to a Cricket World Cup triumph and later entered legislative issues as an intellectual of government debasement in Pakistan.

The majority of Pakistan's political leaders come from wealthy families with famous backgrounds. However, Imran Khan does not. He was born and raised in an upper-middle-class family. His father was an engineer, and his mother was a housewife.

He did not enter politics as a career until he was in his late forties. Prior to joining politics, he was a Pakistani international cricketer. To fully comprehend Khan's political personality, one must first understand his public persona prior to the beginning of his career in politics.

“It is not defeat that destroys you, it is being demoralized by defeat that destroys you.”

— Imran Khan

Khan has studied in the best institutions in Pakistan and the United Kingdom, including the Royal Grammar School Worcester and Aitchison College Pakistan. His family had several accomplished cricketers, including Khan's two older cousins, Javed Burki and Majid Khan. Both of them have served as leaders of the Pakistani public group. Imran Khan started playing cricket in Pakistan and the United Kingdom in his youth. He continued to play while studying philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford.

Khan had proven himself as an excellent bowler and all-rounder. He was elected captain of the Pakistani team in 1982. Khan's athletic talents and good features made him a celebrity in both Pakistan and England. His regular appearances at fashionable London dance clubs have fed the British press in his youth.

Khan earned his greatest notable athletic advancement in 1992, when he led Pakistan to its first World Cup championship, defeating England in the finals. He quit playing cricket after his victory, having established himself as one of the greatest cricket players of all time.

Khan and the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital

Khan remained in the public eye as an honorable person after 1992. He encountered a severe spiritual change around this time, accepting Sufi otherworldliness and letting go of his previous playboy image. Khan served as the primary fundraiser for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Lahore, which was opened in 1994. The hospital was named after Khan's mother, who died of cancer in 1985. His mother's death brought a big change in his life. The cancer hospital is one of the noblest efforts of Imran Khan.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf: Pakistan’s Iconic Populist Movement

Following his retirement from cricket, Khan became an outspoken critic of Pakistan's government blunders and corruption. In 1996, he formed his own political party named Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan Justice Movement; PTI).

The newly established party received less than one percent of the vote and failed to gain any seats in the National Assembly in the next year's elections. It did better in the 2002 elections, winning a single seat that Khan occupied. Khan kept up with that vote-fixing was to be blamed for his party's low vote totals.

“Bravery is standing with the truth and right”

— Imran khan

His Protests and Courageous Attitude

Khan was amongst a group of lawmakers who walked out of the National Assembly in October 2007, opposing President George W. Bush and Pervez Musharraf's application in the coming formal political race. For this reason, Khan was briefly imprisoned in November as part of a crackdown on Musharraf's commentators who had announced a very delicate scenario. The PTI condemned the very tense situation, which ended in mid-December, and boycotted the 2008 public choices to protest against Musharraf's standard.

PTI went on national television and discussed the forbidden subject of "missing individuals," including Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and others who "disappeared" in Balochistan (Mir, 2018). Touching on "forbidden" themes gave the PTI the appearance of a courageous party, unafraid of the military administration or the US. The anti-US rhetoric was extremely popular, increasing PTI's appeal in a nation rife with the anti-Western sentiment.

Regardless of the PTI's difficulties in decision-making. Khan's egalitarian stances found support, particularly among young people. The youth of Pakistan loves him a lot. He continued his examination of defilement and financial imbalance in Pakistan. He criticized the Pakistani government's cooperation with the US in combating attackers along the Afghan border. He also began strikes on Pakistan's political and financial elites, accusing them of becoming Westernized and abandoning Pakistan's moral and social values.

PTI on Media Channels 24/7

For continuous 126 days, the PTI and its partners held marches and sit-ins across Pakistan, mostly in Islamabad and other major cities. They requested that tribunals look into allegations of electoral fraud. These protests were covered live on many media channels 24 hours a day, seven days a week; primetime "analytical gurus" speculated about the future of Pakistani politics and the rise of a popular Khan.

PTI has emerged as a major political rival. PTI was trending on all media channels. The party's anti-corruption stance, as well as their insistence on a cessation of foreign engagement, sparked heated debate across the country.

PTI was the ideal messenger, especially for the youth of Pakistan. It was a comparatively new party, with no visible corruption charges against it. It has a charming leader who interacted with the masses in clear and straightforward language about their core issues and gave people hope for a safer and better society.

Khan's Warnings to Nawaz Sharif and Media

Imran Khan and his party increasingly exerted pressure on state intuitions, such as the court, to support their directives, a profoundly dictatorial use of public rallies. When PTI was summoned for using its sit-ins to pressure the judiciary, Khan raised his voice, stating, “Is asking for justice from the courts equivalent to putting pressure?” He continued, “They (PML-N) are the ones pressing us!” He also warned Nawaz Sharif, “Hear me loudly and clearly, Nawaz Sharif: whatever you are doing here, the Nation will no longer remain mute. We will not tolerate all this anymore.”

Any institution or media organization that sided with the Sharifs was considered unreliable. In severe cases, they were “the other,” who were working against the benefits of the people for greedy motives or maybe even carrying out international purposes.

This “common-sense” populist logic helped the party connect to people all rungs of society. “Go Nawaz Go” became a national slogan, which PTI supporters chanted at rallies and hash-tagged across social media.

— Dawn Newspaper, 2014

Khan’s and Pakistan's Greatest Victory: Nawaz Sharif Was Forced to Resign

In the months leading up to the administrative judgments scheduled for mid-2013, Khan and his party gathered large crowds to meetings and enlisted the assistance of a few seasoned MPs from Pakistan's established parties. An evaluation of popular sentiment in 2012 found Khan to be the most famous political person in Pakistan, providing more evidence of Khan's expanding electoral fortunes.

In May 2013, only days before the administrative elections. Khan injured his head and back when he fell from a stage during one of his campaign rallies. He appeared on Pakistan's national news channel from his medical bed hours later to make one final promise to the people.

The elections produced the PTI's highest aggregates, although the party did not win a majority of the seats. The majority of seats were gained by the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N), directed by Nawaz Sharif. Khan accused the PML-N of rigging the contests. After Khan's demands for an inquiry were neglected, he and other opposition pioneers led four months of struggles in late 2014 to push Sharif to back down.

The campaigns did not result in Sharif's expulsion, but suspicions of corruption were raised when the Panama Papers linked his family to offshore assets. Khan organized another round of bouts in late 2016 but canceled them with barely time to spare when the Supreme Court agreed to launch an investigation against Nawaz Sharif and his family.

Sharif was barred from holding public office in 2017 as a result of the inspection, and he was forced to resign. Eventually, this was Khan's and Pakistan's greatest victory against corruption. As a Pakistani, and a big supporter of PTI, I salute Imran khan for bringing justice.

Imran Khan's Journey from Prime Minister to Removal After a No-Confidence Vote

Khan was elected in 2018 and served as Pakistan's 22nd Prime Minister from August 2018 to April 2022. It is important to note that past Pakistani prime ministers, such as Nawaz Sharif and Zardari, have ruled the country multiple times and have been involved in a lot of corruption; this was Khan's first time as Prime Minister of Pakistan. Of course, he made mistakes, which he admits, and his followers continue to admire and appreciate him for being real and honest to the country and nation. However, Khan was removed not as a result of any of his mistakes, but as a result of an international conspiracy. Mr. Khan stated that he would not accept an opposition government and claimed that there was a US-led plan to remove him due to his refusal to stand with Washington on issues against Russia and China.

Khan has claimed and continues to claim that Pakistan's opposition parties are collaborating with foreign powers. Members of his party (PTI) also exited the premises shortly before the vote, claiming he was the victim of an international conspiracy. The US has stated that there is "no truth" to Khan's allegations; however, Khan has demonstrated evidence that cannot be denied. Just after his removal, the people of the country went on strike, and Khan held numerous rallies in which millions and trillions of people came to support him for the injustice he experienced.

The majority of the country supports Imran Khan, and their only motto is "I stand with Imran Khan." The phrase had gone so viral on social media, that many people around the world raised their voices using hashtags on Twitter to say, "I stand with Imran Khan." As a PTI supporter, I want to see him return as Prime Minister of Pakistan, and I hope and pray that he would win the 2023 elections. He is a hero, and no country would ever want to lose such a trustworthy and patriotic prime minister. So here I say I stand with Imran Khan.

1. We shall never lie and always speak the truth.

2. Leave our egos behind and only think of this Nation, there are 11 crore Pakistanis living beneath the poverty line.

3. We shall be brave and break the shackles of fear.

4. We have to bring Justice to this society, even if our friends and relatives do injustice, we shall be fair and bring them to justice.

— Imran Khan while addressing to the people of Pakistan in a Rally

Some Interesting Facts About Imran Khan

The following are some significant facts about Imran Khan that everyone should be aware of.

His birthdate:

There is some confusion regarding Imran's real birth date. His Wikipedia page states that his actual birth date is October 5, however, his official documents, including his national identity card, state that it is November 25.

His education:

Imran was raised in a comfortable atmosphere and had a privileged education as a result. He attended the Aitchison College in Lahore, Pakistan as well as the Royal Grammar School, Worcester in England, where he learned to play cricket. In 1972, he entered Keble College, Oxford, where he studied Politics, Economics, and Philosophy. He completed his graduation in 1975.

His childhood injury:

Imran once stumbled while climbing a tree in the school and fractured his left arm while clinging to a branch. He was admitted to the hospital. His left arm has been bothering him ever since. During his cricket days, he had to constantly practice gripping his bat because of his arm, though he never had any problems while bowling.

His passion for cricket:

Imran wanted to be a Test cricketer when he was nine years old. He made a mediocre First-Class debut at the age of sixteen, and after a few games, he was chosen for the Pakistan cricket team while he was still a student at Oxford.

Khan as a leader:

Imran has always been an instinctual leader, whether it was selecting players out of nets (Tauseef Ahmed and Wasim Akram) or bringing them back from 17-year sabbaticals from Test cricket (Younis Ahmed).

His career ended very happily as he guided Pakistan to the World Cup triumph in 1992. The most essential aspect of the victory was that he had selected a youthful team and guided them to victory that will be remembered forever.

The history of Shaukat Khanum hospital:

Imran's mother, Shaukat Khanum, died of cancer in 1984. Since then, he has wished to establish a cancer hospital in his mother's name and to provide free treatment to the impoverished of Pakistan. He promised to raise $5 million to build a hospital. The Pakistani government also aided him in his humanitarian endeavor by donating 20 acres of land on the outskirts of Lahore. The hospital was opened in December 1994, following a decade of diligent fundraising and hard labor on the ground. It was Lahore's first and, as of yet, only cancer hospital.

Imran was taken to Shaukat Khanum hospital in Lahore on May 7, 2013, only four days before the general elections, when he fell headfirst from a forklift at the edge of a stage. Imran survived despite a six-inch cut and 28 stitches on his face. He had emergency surgery for an intestinal obstruction at the same hospital earlier in 2009.

Khan got married thrice:

Imran was a playboy in his playing days. He married Jemima Goldsmith, the beautiful daughter of late British billionaire Sir James Goldsmith, in 1995. After nine years of marriage, however, the couple divorced. From his marriage to Jemima, he has two sons: Qasim and Sulaiman. Both of his sons live with their mother in the UK. Khan stays in constant contact with his sons and loves them a lot.

Later in 2015, Khan married journalist Reham. The marriage ended in divorce only after ten months. Khan married Bushra Bibi in the year 2018, she is his current wife. The couple is living a happy life. Imran Khan in an interview stated,

"My interest in Sufism began 30 years ago. It altered my life. Sufism is an order with so many levels. But I have to accept I have never met anyone who is as high as my wife. My interest in her began because of Sufism."

Photos of Imran Khan With His Wives

Last Thoughts - His Name Will Be Written In Pakistan's Golden Books Forever

Imran Khan and his party very cleverly (and in the interest of the nation) used populist speech and tactics to delegitimize the established parties. The party's position itself as the perfect choice and hope for the youth has helped its popularity. It used a broad pattern of ideologies to maintain its populism which touched on deep-rooted concerns in the society's mind.

PTI has developed through many stages of evolution. It was an activist party at a time when civil society was extremely restrained under a military administration. Through simple civil disobedience, it certified the status of a challenging opposition party and won the election, however, it did not survive long because of some international conspiracies and corrupt opposition parties.

Even though Imran Khan has been ousted as Prime Minister, the country still loves and respects him; they want to see him return, and it is quite likely that he will be elected Prime Minister of Pakistan again in the future elections. Over many years of struggle, the PTI has effectively positioned itself as the people's voice. Imran Khan has successfully raised countless brave people like himself over the years, people who have the courage and spirit to fight injustice and corruption. He has taught people how to speak up for their rights and well-being. That time is not far away when Pakistan will shine like a star in the world and will no longer be classified as a third-world country.