cricketer imran khan, full name Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi, is a Pakistani cricketer, politician, philanthropist, and the current Prime Minister of Pakistan (2018–). He rose to national prominence after leading Pakistan’s national team to a Cricket World Cup victory in 1992, and later entered politics as a critic of government corruption in Pakistan. Childhood and cricket career
Khan was born into a wealthy Pashtun family in Lahore and attended prestigious institutions in Pakistan and the United Kingdom, including Worcester’s Royal Grammar School and Lahore’s Aitchison College. His family had numerous talented cricketers, including two older cousins, Javed Burki and Majid Khan, who both captained the Pakistani national side. Imran Khan began playing cricket in his teens in Pakistan and the United Kingdom, and he continued to do so while studying philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford. Khan made his debut for Pakistan’s national team in 1971, but it wasn’t until 1976, when he graduated from Oxford, that he was given a regular spot on the squad.
Khan had established himself as an outstanding bowler and all-rounder by the early 1980s, and he was elected captain of the Pakistani squad in 1982. Khan’s athletic ability and attractive looks made him a celebrity in both Pakistan and England, and his frequent appearances in famous London nightclubs supplied tabloid fodder. Khan’s biggest sporting achievement came in 1992, when he guided Pakistan to its first World Cup triumph, beating England in the final. He retired the following year, having established himself as one of the best cricketers of all time.
Khan remained a prominent figure as a philanthropist after 1992. He had a religious epiphany, embracing Sufi mysticism and abandoning his previous image as a playboy. Khan was the principal fund-raiser for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, a specialty cancer hospital in Lahore that opened in 1994, as part of one of his humanitarian endeavors. Khan’s mother died of cancer in 1985, and the hospital was named for her.
Politics as a career
Khan became an outspoken opponent of government inefficiency and corruption in Pakistan after retiring from cricket. In 1996, he created Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan Justice Movement; PTI), his own political party. The newly established party received less than 1% of the vote in the national elections the next year, failing to gain any seats in the National Assembly, but it performed somewhat better in the 2002 elections, securing a single seat that Khan occupied. Khan claimed that his party’s poor vote totals were due to vote tampering. Khan was one of a number of legislators that resigned from the National Assembly in October 2007 in protest of President Pervez Musharraf’s presidential campaign. Khan was temporarily detained in November as part of a crackdown on opponents of Musharraf, who had proclaimed a state of emergency. To protest Musharraf’s reign, the PTI opposed the state of emergency, which ended in mid-December, and boycotted the 2008 national elections.
Despite the PTI’s electoral troubles, Khan’s populist policies drew popularity, particularly among young people. He proceeded to rail against Pakistan’s corruption and economic inequalities, as well as the Pakistani government’s collaboration with the US in combating extremists along the Afghan border. He also took aim at Pakistan’s political and economic leaders, accusing them of being Westernized and out of touch with the country’s religious and cultural standards.
Warrior Race: A Journey Through the Land of the Tribal Pathans (1993) and Pakistan: A Personal History were two of Khan’s books (2011).
Ascendance in politics
Khan and his party garnered enormous audiences at rallies in the months leading up to the parliamentary elections, which were slated for early 2013, and gained the endorsement of numerous seasoned politicians from Pakistan’s established parties. Khan’s soaring electoral prospects were further shown by an opinion survey conducted in 2012, which deemed him to be Pakistan’s most popular political figure.
Khan was wounded after he fell off a stage at a campaign event only days before the May 2013 parliamentary elections, injuring his head and back. Hours later, he appeared on television from his hospital bed to make one last plea to voters. The PTI received its greatest vote totals ever, although it still came up short of the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N), headed by Nawaz Sharif, in terms of seats gained. Khan accused the ruling party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), of manipulating the election. After his demands for an inquiry were ignored, he and other opposition leaders staged four months of rallies in late 2014 to force Sharif to resign.
Related cricketer Imran khan
Although the demonstrations failed to remove Sharif from power, accusations of corruption were heightened when the Panama Papers revealed his family’s offshore wealth. In late 2016, Khan planned a fresh round of rallies, but they were called off at the last minute when the Supreme Court decided to launch a probe. In 2017, Sharif was barred from holding public office as a result of the probe, and he was compelled to retire. Khan, however, was shown to have offshore interests but was not disqualified by the Supreme Court in a separate case.
In July of the following year, elections were conducted. Khan campaigned on a promise of tackling corruption and poverty, despite allegations that he was too close to the military establishment. Khan was able to form a coalition with independent members of parliament after the PTI secured a majority of seats in the National Assembly. On August 18, he was sworn in as Prime Minister.
Khan faced a growing balance-of-payments dilemma as Prime Minister. Despite the fact that the economy was growing, imports and debt obligations have risen in recent years, owing in part to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plan. The problem intensified only weeks after he took office, when the US withheld $300 million in pledged military help, claiming Pakistan had not done enough to combat terrorism. Because a dozen prior packages from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had failed to alleviate Pakistan’s macroeconomic difficulties, Khan sought to seek foreign help from “friendly nations” first; his avoidance of an IMF bailout reflected widespread weariness with the IMF. Pakistan requested emergency loans from the IMF after failing to get foreign help on favorable terms from other nations. He continued to seek foreign assistance from various sources, and China, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates all promised to invest.
Khan supervised numerous key improvements in Pakistan’s diplomatic relations, in addition to pursuing foreign help. The nation was successful in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table with the US, which improved ties between the two countries. India launched an air strike on Pakistan for the first time in five decades in February 2019, in a show of force against terrorists in Kashmir who had just perpetrated a suicide bombing that killed 40 Indian security officers, stoking worries of a new confrontation between the two nations. Pakistan attempted to minimize the damage and avoid aggravating the issue. When India crossed Pakistani airspace again, Pakistan fired down two fighter planes and kidnapped a pilot, but the pilot was quickly restored to India. Khan responded by arresting militants, shutting a huge number of religious institutions, and promised to reform current regulations to match international norms in the aftermath of the disaster.
The epidemic of COVID-19, which started in early 2020, exacerbated the country’s economic problems. In contrast to his detractors, Khan was hesitant to support a lockdown. Of March, the provincial administration in Sindh, which is governed by an opposition party, imposed a stringent lockdown. In April, Khan issued a statewide curfew, then in May, his administration started limiting curfews to areas with high infection rates.
Meanwhile, Khan faced criticism for his tight ties to the military establishment, his anti-terrorist campaign, and the country’s precarious economic situation. The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), a coalition of main opposition groups, was created in late 2020 with the declared purpose of boosting civilian government independence from the military establishment. PDM-organized protests and demonstrations accused Khan of being a puppet of the army and demanded that he resign. These parties boycotted a vote of confidence called by Khan’s administration in March 2021, which he barely won with the help of his coalition allies. Khan broke out with the military establishment later that year following an unsuccessful effort to sway high military positions. As anger over high inflation grew, the opposition decided to organize its own vote of confidence in March 2022; numerous members of Khan’s party and alliance declared that they would not support him.