Being born in Pakistan, I’ve seen the rise and rule of corrupt leaders one after the other. It was only in my wildest imagination that someone with pure motives would ever capture the throne of Pakistani politics and lead this nation to where it should have been decades ago.
On the 27th of July 2018, a miracle happened! After countless years of unforgettable battles, Imran Khan was finally able to capture the victory and become the 19th Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Retiring from cricket as one of the most successful players with a total of 3,807 runs and taking out 362 wickets in test cricket, Khan became one of the eight world cricketers to score an ‘All Rounder’s triple’ in test matches. But making a dent in the world of cricket wasn’t enough for him, he soon started to feel the thirst of achieving something bigger. He started to see Pakistan out of its never ending crisis and into the golden times.
But he could do only so much as a popular retired cricket playing icon, he had to transit from a legendary sportsman symbol to a never giving up political leader with the keys to run the country itself.
Khan found a political party in 1996 calling it Pakistan Tehreek-e-insaf or PTI for short and running in 1997’s general elections in a losing effort to get two constituencies.
His hope of ending corruption and clearing out political mafias led him to support General Pervez Musharraf’s 1999 military coup which prompted Musharraf to offer the Prime Minster’s chair to Khan back in 2002. But due to undisclosed reasons, Khan turned down the offer.
Being part of the ‘All Parties Democratic Movement’ in October 2007, Khan joined 85 other MPs to resign from Parliament in protest against then scheduled elections which Musharraf was contesting for without resigning as the army chief. Days after the protest resided, Musharraf declared a state of emergency and Khan was put under house arrest prompting him to escape and go into hiding, eventually coming out a few days later to join a student protest at the University of Punjab where he was captured by activists from Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing and was escorted to the Dera Ghazi Khan jail before becoming a free citizen a few days later.
Khan became a real threat to the ruling parties at the time when he addressed more than a hundred thousand supporters in Lahore and Karachi, challenging the government policies in October 2011. By then, PTI had topped the list of popular political parties at the national and provincial level according to the IRI’s surveys followed by Khan taking a stand against US drone strikes and joining a vehicle caravan of protesters from Islamabad to the village of Kotai in Pakistan’s South Waziristan region.
Imran Khan changed the whole landscape of the game in 2013 when he introduced the ‘New Pakistan Resolution’ which was solidified when ‘The Observer’ deemed Khan and PTI as the main opposition to Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N that was another frontrunner to win the upcoming elections leading up to PPP offering an alliance and the Prime Minister’s office to Khan in order to stop PML-N from building a government. But Khan refused, denying the corruption to touch his roots and further intensifying a one on one rivalry with Nawaz Sharif.
A last survey by ‘The Herald’ before the elections showed 24.98 percent of voters had made up their minds to support Khan which was just a wee bit behind PML-N’s percentage. 11th May 2013, Khan lost to Nawaz Sharif.
The world was convinced that the elections were rigged and so Khan didn’t disappear into the background leading a rally of supporters from Lahore to Islamabad promising an investigation and the resignation of Nawaz Sharif. This led Khan to enter an agreement with the Sharif administration to form a three membered high powered judicial commission which will force the Prime Minister to dissolve its assemblies if a country wide pattern of rigging is proved.
With all being said and done, Khan reemerged in the 2018 elections! With a 115 seats out of a 270, Khan defeated Nawaz Sharif and became the first person in Pakistan’s history to win all five constituencies he contested for surpassing Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who contested for four, but won only three back in 1970. PML-N expectedly accused the elections of being massively rigged in favor of Khan, but the ‘Election Commission of Pakistan’ rejected the allegations leaving PML-N with no other choice but to accept Khan’s victory. Khan delivered a key sentence during his official nomination as the Prime Minister by PTI, he will present himself for public accountability for an hour every week in which he will answer questions put forward by the masses.
People may believe Imran Khan has changed from the man who used to play cricket for the nation’s pride. They may believe that this is a man hardened by the psychological games of politics. They may be right and Imran Khan may have changed but only in terms of age, nothing else. Behind that voice filled with sheer confidence and assurance, this is the same Imran Khan who played the game with a killer passion. Only this time around, he’s playing for something bigger. He’s playing to bring peace to those countless of people looking up to him as their savior, fixing all those crucial conflicts plaguing this motherland. He’s playing the game so that the people can finally raise their heads with pride and say, we live here and the man at the helm is Imran Khan.
When Imran Khan was giving his official speech as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, I was smiling throughout the video because not only me, but the whole nation knew that perhaps now Pakistan is finally being saved by the Captain himself and that became the inspiration point for this visual piece.
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