For no other reason but his commitment to stay in London during the ongoing test cricket matches between India and England, veteran cricketer Sunil Gavaskar expressed his inability to attend Pakistan cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony on August 18.
Kapil Dev, on the other hand, was awaiting a formal invitation to attend the programme. Congratulating the PM-in-waiting, he minced no words in saying that it was wonderful to see a cricketer like Imran Khan reaching the post of the prime minister of Pakistan. Another cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Siddhu is inclined to attend Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony. Siddhu even said that Khan is a man of character, and didn’t seem disheartened by his opponents’ criticism.
Imran Khan is set to begin a new journey as Pakistan prime minister. Because of several challenges starting from China’s domination, internal economic pressure, American intimidation and good relations with India, it seemed the situations were not wholly conducive to Khan. However, he looked purpose-driven and not ego driven because of his twenty-two long years of struggle in the field of politics. His party’s political ascendancy with a tally of 116 seats in the recently held elections was enough for him to grasp the mood of his countrymen. He can now assert his new ideas, timeliness, and promises confidently.
Khan is the first international cricketer to have attained such a high position in a country. A notable parallel for him is a footballer and Liberian President Geroge Weah.
Khan was reportedly contesting from as many as five seats and surprisingly won all the seats. It is more or less what affirmed his popularity amongst the youth of Pakistan. Cynics might just say that it was Khan’s destiny to lead Pakistan. Like Badshah Khan (Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan), he is also a Pashtu Pathan in the vein of Yakub Khan and Yahya Khan. Pakistan is an impoverished country of 208 million people, with its literacy rate staying close above 40 per cent. Despite these anomalies, the people of Pakistan seem to be welcoming Khan with smiling faces.