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

Misbah is a Pakistani who loves her country and appreciates Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan and salutes his efforts.

Imran Khan, The Iconic Figure of Pakistan

Imran Khan is the current 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, humanitarian, and the current prime minister of Pakistan.

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 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.

Read More From Owlcation

Khan's Warnings to Nawaz Sharif and Media

Imran Khan and his party were increasingly exerting 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 is equivalent of 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 Name Will Be Kept in Golden Books

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, I salute Imran khan for bringing justice. His efforts and patriotism will live on in the good and golden pages of history.

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

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.

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 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 was touched into deep-rooted concerns in the society's mind.

In a country where politicians were traditionally corrupt, ties with neighboring countries were tense, social assistance was non-existent, the economic collapse was unavoidable, the PTI has effectively positioned itself as the people's voice.

Imran Khan vowed to remove the corrupt elite as well as claimed "foreign" actions and influences. He welcomed people with open arms to his exciting rallies where the leader spoke the people's language, articulating their issues and fears and giving simple answers they could understand. His party clearly recognized the adversary and presented itself as the panacea to all problems.

Pakistan's current Prime Minister is Imran Khan. His nation loves him. That doesn't mean the entire country supports him, but it does mean that the majority of people do. He has made enormous efforts and risked his life to preserve his nation and its people.

In my opinion, he is a devoted leader, a wonderful human being, and a sincere Muslim who has spoken up for Muslims all across the world on international platforms. I admire him because he is brave and daring; it is not only me or Pakistanis who appreciate him for who he is. For his tremendous efforts and honesty, he is loved by millions and millions of people all around the world. His name will always be kept in the golden pages of history.

Resources:

Imran Khan Biography

Imran Khan- from Champion Cricketer to the Prime Minister of Pakistan

Imran Khan ─ from flamboyant cricketer to the prime minister

Imran Khan: From cricket hero to Pakistani PM

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf

How Imran Khan's married life and political journey go hand in hand

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

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Misbah Sheikh

Comments

Zeenat on October 25, 2021:

Imran khan seems to be a great politician. His story is so interesting.

Thank you for sharing this

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Rebels. on October 25, 2021:

Farah, thank you very much for your lovely response and for sharing your experience. Imran Khan is a very handsome person. He is now 69 years old. Still, he works out regularly to maintain himself fit and healthy. Running a country is a difficult task, true. He is running Pakistan according to Rayast e Medina's norms. His ideology is unique and excellent. Thank you for your warm words. It means a lot to me. Greatly appreciated!

Take care and keep yourself safe and healthy.

Blessings and love as always :)

Farah N Huq from Dhaka, Bangladesh on October 25, 2021:

When I was a kid, my parents took me to the cricket stadium once, in Dhaka, to watch a game. I was too young to understand the game then but I do remember this, when Imran Khan came near the fence to pick the ball there seemed to be a stampede all of a sudden! Everyone rushed down to have a glimpse of the popular and handsome cricketer! He has gone a long way since then. Running a country is not an easy job. A good read indeed!

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Rebels. on October 25, 2021:

Linda, I'm delighted you liked it. Imran Khan's life story is very inspiring. He is a daring, fearless, and courageous leader. Thank you so much for your extremely sweet and generous comment, dear friend. That is very much appreciated.

Blessings and love to you as always!

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Rebels. on October 25, 2021:

Thank you so much for your kind comment, Sankhajit Bhattacharjee.

Blessings and Peace!

Sankhajit Bhattacharjee from MILWAUKEE on October 24, 2021:

nicely depicted

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 24, 2021:

Thank you for creating such an informative article. I’ve heard of Imran Khan before, but you have greatly increased my knowledge about the man and his life.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Rebels. on October 24, 2021:

Thank you so much for your kind and generous comment, Rozlin. Khan's life journey is very fascinating and hard both at the same time. He is the best in many ways. We (the Pakistanis) love and respect him a lot. I am glad you learned more about him through this article. Your kindness is very much appreciated, my dear sister.

Take care and have a great day.

Sending you lots of love and Blessings.

Rozlin from UAE on October 24, 2021:

Interesting and well written article, Misbah. Imran Khan' s journey is really amazing. I enjoyed reading. I learnt a lot about him through your hub. Thank you for sharing.

Take care, dear sis.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Rebels. on October 24, 2021:

Mr. Bill, thank you very much for your extremely kind and sweet words. You are the wisest friend. I really wish I could meet you in person, I doubt it will ever happen, but I'm grateful I met you here. For this, I adore HubPages. I am thankful for your friendship. Thank you for being the person you are. I am glad you liked it. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Much Gratitude, Sir. Have a peaceful Sunday.

God bless you and your family

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Rebels. on October 24, 2021:

Ameen! Thank you very much for your kind and insightful comment, Peggy. Gratitude, dear friend. Yes, the cancer hospital is one of his most noble efforts. Imran Khan is constructing a new cancer hospital in Khyberpakhtunwa (another province of Pakistan) His efforts are incredible. Khan is the most admired politician among Pakistan's youth.

I am glad you liked it. Thank you so much for the kind wishes. I appreciate it very much. Take care and have a great Sunday. :)

Sending lots of Blessings and Love to you

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 24, 2021:

A wonderful civics and political science article. Thank you for sharing this information with us all. It was interesting and today I am wiser because of you.

Blessings always

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Rebels. on October 24, 2021:

Yes, John. I believe you have mixed up Jemima with Shaniera. :)

Both of them are wonderful and respectable ladies. Once again thank you so much :)

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 24, 2021:

Thanks for writing about Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan. I learned much about him by reading this article, and among the many things he has accomplished, the building of that hospital to treat cancer patients free of charge is most admirable. Stamping out corruption is a worthy goal everywhere, no matter where one lives. May that long continue.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 24, 2021:

Thank you for that info, Misbah. Maybe I had Jemima mixed up with Wasim Akram’s wife Shaniera.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Rebels. on October 24, 2021:

John, thank you very much for your sweet and generous comments. I'm delighted to hear you admire Imran Khan. In my opinion, he is the best Pakistani leader Pakistan has ever had. In 1995, Jemima Goldsmith married Imran Khan. She moved to Lahore( khan's hometown in Pakistan) and learned to speak Urdu. She is a lovely person. I'm not sure if Jemima has ever lived in Australia. However, the wife of Pakistan's former cricketer Wasim Akram is Australian. Her name is Shaniera Akram. She is an Australian social worker based in Pakistan. Much Gratitude, dear friend. I am so glad you enjoyed it.

Take care and keep smiling. Happy Sunday!

Many Blessings to you and your family.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 24, 2021:

I enjoyed this, Misbah. I always admired Imran Khan as a cricketer and He sounds like an honourable man as a politician. I always thought his first wife Jemima was Australian, but I was obviously wrong. Perhaps she had lived here for awhile. Thank you for sharing.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Rebels. on October 24, 2021:

Thank you so much for your very kind and generous comment, dear Srushti. I am so glad to see your comment. Indeed he is amazing. I am glad you learned more about him from this article. I am in awe of your kindness, my dear sweet sister. God bless you always.

Higher Blessings and Love to you!

Srushti Gamit on October 24, 2021:

Thanks for sharing this article with us Misbah!!

The journey of Imran Khan is really amazing. With your article I came to know many interesting things about him.

God bless you

Take care

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Rebels. on October 24, 2021:

Dear Rosina, thank you so much for your extremely sweet and kind comment. Yes, I'm sure you've heard of Imran Khan. I'm glad you learned more about his life journey and background through this article. He is one of the most wonderful people I ever know Pakistanis love, support and respect him a lot. He is his nation's voice. There are numerous factors that makes him unique and outstanding from the rest of Pakistan's political leaders. He is a brave, honest, and true leader. Which patriot would dare to oppose such a great leader?

Thank you so much for your kind wishes for him. May God bless and protect him always. Ameen!

I greatly appreciate your kindness and generosity. Allah bless you and keep you smiling. Much love! Have a great Sunday.

Blessings and Love as always!!!

Rosina S Khan on October 24, 2021:

Of course, I am familiar with Imran Khan who was a famous cricketer and now the current Prime Minister of Pakistan. There were many details, information and history about him that I didn't know however but came to know through this article. Indeed he is a great personality figure. Long live him! Thank you for sharing his life journey, Misbah.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Rebels. on October 24, 2021:

MsDora, thank you very much for your thoughtful and kind comment. Much appreciated.  I feel Iman Khan is the best prime minister of Pakistan to date. He has a large number of supporters, and I appreciate his brave and fearless approach the most. May God provide him with all of the strength he needs. Ameen. Yes, that quote reflects his dedication and hard work attitude.

Take care and Have a great sunday.

Many Blessings and Love to you as always.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 24, 2021:

Quite a story of passion and determination. The quote I like best is the one regarding compromise. Thanks for these inspiring details on the life and accomplishments of your cricketer-prime minister. Awesome!

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