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Imran Khan’s struggle: From cricket hero to Prime Minister

Throughout history, it has been seen that the ones who actually end up changing the bigger picture of the world around us are the ones who are termed as the society’s misfits or often as the crazy ones.

But eventually, they end up achieving the impossible, becoming heroes and legends in the process. People often forget the struggle behind success and think that greats are born overnight. Although, if one closely studies the history of humanity, one finds that certainly is not the case.

The world has already given us the examples of people like Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Abdul Sattar Edhi, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawkings, Steve Jobs, and now Pakistan’s much-celebrated sports celebrity, Imran Khan.

Imran Khan after a struggle of 22 years, have achieved the target and became the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Early life and cricket Career

Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi was born on Oct 5, 1952, to a well-off Pashtun family in Mianwali, Punjab. His family later settled in Lahore.

Being the only son of his parents ─ and a brother to four sisters ─ he was often called arrogant ─ an accusation Khan has always denied. In his early adolescence, he was considered a quiet and shy boy who often kept to himself.

He hailed from a great cricketing family ─ his maternal cousins; Javed Burki and Majid Khan both preceded him in going to Oxford and captaining Pakistan.

Khan played cricket in Pakistan and the United Kingdom in his teens and continued playing while studying philosophy, politics, and economics at the University of Oxford.

He played his first match for Pakistan’s national team in 1971, but he did not take a permanent place on the team until after his graduation from Oxford in 1976.

Exceptional bowler and all-rounder

By the early 1980s, Khan had distinguished himself as an exceptional bowler and all-rounder, and he was named captain of the Pakistani team in 1982.

Khan’s athletic talent and good looks made him a celebrity in Pakistan and England, and his regular appearances at fashionable London nightclubs provided fodder for the British tabloid press.

First World Cup victory 

In 1992, Khan achieved his greatest athletic success when he led the Pakistani team to its first World Cup title, defeating England in the final. He retired that same year, having secured a reputation as one of the greatest cricket players in history.

Philanthropic endeavors

After 1992 Khan remained in the public eye as a philanthropist. He experienced a religious awakening, embracing Sufi mysticism and shedding his earlier playboy image.

In one of his philanthropic endeavors, Khan acted as the primary fund-raiser for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, a specialized cancer hospital in Lahore, which opened in 1994. The hospital was named after Khan’s mother, who had died of cancer in 1985.

Entry into politics

After his retirement from cricket, Khan became an outspoken critic of government mismanagement and corruption in Pakistan. He founded his own political party, Tehreek-e-Insaf (Justice Movement), in 1996.

In national elections held the following year, the newly formed party won less than 1 percent of the vote and failed to win any seats in the National Assembly, however, it fared slightly better in the 2002 elections, winning a single seat that Khan filled.

Khan maintained that vote-rigging was to criticize his party’s low vote totals. In October 2007 Khan was among a group of politicians who resigned from the National Assembly, protesting Pres. Pervez Musharraf’s candidacy in the upcoming presidential election.

In November 2007, Khan was briefly imprisoned during a crackdown against critics of Musharraf, who had declared a state of emergency.

Tehreek-e-Insaf denounced the state of emergency, which ended in mid-December, and boycotted the 2008 national elections to protest Musharraf’s rule.

Struggles against corruption

Despite Tehreek-e-Insaf’s struggles in elections, Khan’s populist positions found support, especially among young people.

He continued his criticism of corruption and economic inequality in Pakistan and opposed the Pakistani government’s cooperation with the United States in fighting militants on the Afghan border.

Khan also launched broadsides against Pakistan’s political and economic elites, whom he accused of being westernized and out of touch with Pakistan’s religious and cultural norms.

Most popular political figure

In the months leading up to the legislative elections scheduled for early 2013, Khan and his party drew large crowds at rallies and attracted the support of a number of veteran politicians from Pakistan’s established parties.

Additional evidence of Khan’s rising political fortunes came in the form of an opinion poll in 2012 that found him to be the most popular political figure in Pakistan.

Just days before legislative elections in May 2013, Khan injured his head and back when he fell from a stage at a campaign rally.

Despite several difficulties, the party still won less than half the number of seats won by the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N), led by Nawaz Sharif.

Four months of protests

Khan accused the PML-N of rigging the elections. After his calls for an investigation went unmet, he and other opposition leaders led four months of protests in late 2014 in order to pressure Sharif to step down.

The protests failed to oust Sharif, but suspicions of corruption were amplified when the Panama Papers linked his family to offshore holdings.

Khan ran on a platform of fighting corruption and poverty, even as he had to fight off accusations that he was too cozy with the military establishment.

Later, in the general election, PTI won a plurality of seats in the National Assembly, allowing Khan to seek a coalition with independent members of the parliament. He became the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 18.

Nation celebrates PM Imran’s 68th birthday

Social media platforms were flooded with birthday wishes for PM Imran Khan as he turned 68 today. Political leaders, celebrities, fans and PTI supports took to social networking platforms to wish the prime minister on his birthday.

Prime Minister Imran Khan turned 68 years old today as party activists and supporters wished him on his birthday.

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