Pushed to the wall in the face of the spirited Opposition campaign, the survival of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government hangs in balance as the National Assembly is slated to take up the no-trust motion against the ruling dispensation soon. The 22nd Pakistani Prime Minister is seen to be running out of favour with the Army known to call shots in the power game of Pakistan.
Pakistan’s only World Cup-winning cricket captain was pitchforked to the centre stage after former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lost favours with the top brass of the Army.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi is a former Pakistani cricketer, who after leading the country to victory in the 1992 World Cup Final, retired from cricket and joined politics. He is the founding Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
His political front, which he founded in 1997, remained on the sidelines of Pakistani politics until he found favour with the military establishment, which began propping him after 2013, to counter the growing political assertion of the two traditional mainstream parties led by Sharif and the Bhutto families.
The military establishment is widely known to have given its tacit approval to Khan in 2016 when he organised a massive rally and threatened a lockdown of Islamabad over the Panama Papers leak which had implicated the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The rally propped Khan as a serious contender for power, who enjoyed the blessings of the all-important Pakistani Army.
In 1997, he founded his own political party ‘Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Khan contested for a National Assembly seat in October 2002 elections and served as a Member Parliament from NA- 71, Mianwali until 2007. In 2018, Imran Khan stormed to power in Pakistan by winning 176 votes.
Imran Khan, the seventh member of his family, was born on November 25, 1952, to a Pashtun family in Lahore, Pakistan. He attended Aitchison College in Lahore and later moved to Oxford for higher studies.
Hailing from a cricketing family, his cousins, Javed Burki and Majid Khan, both preceded him in going to Oxford and captaining Pakistan. Khan married Jemima Goldsmith, an English socialite, who converted to Islam on May 16, 1995, in Paris. The marriage ended in divorce after eight years in June 2004 as Jemima Khan was allegedly unable to adapt to Pakistani culture.
Khan started playing cricket at the age of 13. Initially playing for his college and later representing English county Worcester, he made his debut for Pakistan at the age of 18 during the 1971 English series at Birmingham.
Soon, he acquired a permanent place in the team. Khan achieved the all-rounder’s triple in 75 tests.
His career came to an end after the first and only ODI World Cup victory for Pakistan in 1992 with a record of 3,807 runs and 362 wickets in Test cricket.
He founded Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust in 1991, which actively worked on the research and development of cancer and other related diseases. He also founded the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research centre in 1994. He passionately pursued healthcare interests in the wake of his mother’s untimely death, who died of cancer.
Khan was awarded ‘The Cricket Society Wetherall Award’ in 1976 and 1980 for being the leading all-rounder in English first-class cricket. He was also named as the Wisden Cricketer of the year in 1983 and received the ‘President’s Pride of Performance’ award in 1983.
He also got the Sussex Cricket Society Player of the Year Award in 1985 and served as Unicef’s Special Representative for Sports during the 1990s. Khan was inducted in the ‘ICC Hall of Fame’ on July 14, 2010.
(With inputs from ANI)