Legendary all-rounder Imran Khan has been sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan.
The 65-year-old Khan was sworn into office on Saturday morning, 18 August, as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Khan has inherited a country that is struggling with economic problems as well as threats to its security, but his election to the highest office brings new hope to a proud nation that has finally broken free of the rule of the traditional dynastic elite that has held power over the country for generations.
Khan has promised to end corruption in the country and deliver a new Pakistan, and he has campaigned against what he labeled the greed and incompetence of the country’s leadership. He has promised accountability as well as the introduction of a welfare state, and these words are backed up by his previous philanthropic actions, which includes the construction of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre in memory of his mother. His vision for the hospital was to make cancer treatment accessible to every citizen of Pakistan, regardless of his or her background.
Khan’s attitude towards India has given cricket fans hope that normal service between the countries might resume soon. Political tensions have made bilateral cricket action between India and Pakistan impossible since 2012, while the last time the countries contested a Test match against one another was 11 years ago. The two countries are due to play in the Asia Cup in the UAE in September.
One of Pakistan’s greatest cricketers, as well as one of the greatest all-rounders in world cricket during the 70s, 80s and early 90s, Khan scored 3,807 Test runs and took 362 Test wickets. One of his crowning moments was captaining Pakistan to their first World Cup win in 1992. Khan scored a vital 72 in the final, sharing a match-winning partnership of 139 with legendary Pakistan teammate Javed Miandad.
Khan also took the final wicket to fall of Richard Illingworth to end the match.
Khan had also played a role in establishing Jonty Rhodes’ worldwide fame. In the match when Rhodes made his sensational diving run out to dismiss Inzamam-ul-Haq in the rain-reduced match, it was Khan who (quite rightly) sent Inzamam back after the batsman called for a single that was never on. In the famous picture of the Rhodes run out, Khan can be seen at the non-striker’s end.
That match was the first time South Africa had played Pakistan in a full international match, although the teams had played a warm-up match in Australia a few days before the start of the World Cup.
After retiring from cricket, Khan turned his attention to politics, forming his own political party in 1996, although he only emerged as a politician of influence in 2011, with his party becoming one of the main opposition forces after the 2013 elections when Nawaz Sharif was elected prime minister.
Photo: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images