Imran Khan, the cricket star who ditched his playboy image to rule Pakistan | World News

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, a cricketing hero-turned-politician who was arrested on Tuesday, whipped up widespread assist amid decades-high inflation and a crippling monetary slowdown sooner than his ouster last 12 months.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan(AP)
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan(AP)

The 70-year-old has since confirmed no sign of slowing down, even after being wounded in a November assault on his convoy as he lead a protest march to Islamabad calling for snap regular elections.

Khan had for months averted arrest in a wide range of circumstances registered in the direction of him that embrace prices of instigating crowds to violence. There have been large protests in the direction of earlier makes an try and arrest him.

Khan was pushed out of the premiership in April last 12 months amid public frustration at extreme inflation, rising deficits and endemic corruption that he had promised to stamp out.

The Supreme Courtroom overturned his option to dissolve parliament and defections from his ruling coalition meant he misplaced the no-confidence vote that adopted.

That put him amongst an prolonged report of elected Pakistani prime ministers who’ve didn’t see out their full phrases – none has carried out so since independence in 1947.

In 2018, the cricket legend who led Pakistan to its solely World Cup win in 1992, rallied the nation behind his imaginative and prescient of a corruption-free, prosperous nation revered abroad. Nonetheless the firebrand nationalist’s fame and charisma weren’t enough.

As quickly as criticised for being beneath the thumb of the extremely efficient military establishment, Khan’s ouster obtained right here following worsening relations between him after which navy chief Fundamental Qamar Javed Bajwa.

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The military, which has an outsized place in Pakistan having dominated the nation for nearly half of its historic previous and acquired administration over just a few of its best monetary institutions, has said it stays neutral within the path of politics.


Nonetheless Khan is as soon as extra among the many many nation’s hottest leaders, according to native polls.

His rise to vitality in 2018 came to visit twenty years after he first launched his political event, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), or Pakistan Movement for Justice event, in 1996.

No matter his fame and standing as a hero in cricket-mad Pakistan, PTI languished in Pakistan’s political wilderness, not worthwhile a seat other than Khan’s for 17 years.

In 2011, Khan began drawing massive crowds of youthful Pakistanis disillusioned with endemic corruption, energy electrical vitality shortages and crises in education and unemployment.

He drew even increased backing throughout the ensuing years, with educated Pakistani expatriates leaving their jobs to work for his event and pop musicians and actors turning into a member of his advertising and marketing marketing campaign.

His function, Khan instructed supporters in 2018, was to point out Pakistan from a country with a “small group of wealthy and a sea of poor” into an “occasion for a humane system, a merely system, for the world, of what an Islamic welfare state is”.

That 12 months he was victorious, marking a unusual ascension by a sporting hero to the highest of politics. Observers cautioned, however, that his best enemy was his private rhetoric, having raised supporters’ hopes sky extreme.

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Born in 1952, the son of a civil engineer, Khan grew up with 4 sisters in an affluent metropolis Pashtun family in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-biggest metropolis.

After a privileged education, he went on to the School of Oxford the place he graduated with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

As his cricket career flourished, he developed a playboy fame in London throughout the late Nineteen Seventies.

In 1995, he married Jemima Goldsmith, daughter of enterprise tycoon James Goldsmith. The couple, who had two sons collectively, divorced in 2004. A second marriage to TV journalist Reham Nayyar Khan moreover led to divorce.

His third marriage to Bushra Bibi, a religious chief whom Khan had come to know all through his visits to a thirteenth century shrine in Pakistan, mirrored his deepening curiosity in Sufism – a kind of Islamic apply that emphasises spiritual closeness to God.

As quickly as in vitality, Khan launched into his plan of setting up a “welfare” state modelled on what he said was a superb system relationship once more to the Islamic world some 14 centuries earlier.

Nonetheless his anti-corruption drive was carefully criticised as a software program for sidelining political opponents – loads of whom have been imprisoned on prices of graft.

Pakistan’s generals moreover remained extremely efficient and military officers, retired and serving, have been positioned in control of higher than a dozen civilian institutions.

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