Pakistan election results 2013 are out and PTI chief Imran Khan seems to have realized that like cricket no quick success is possible in politics
By Soroor Ahmed (NVONews.Com)
Perhaps more than result the world was waiting anxiously for the performance of Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI). True it failed to emerge as number one party but made a big dent into Pakistan Peoples Party’s vote bank and pushed it to the third place. It also affected the Pakistan Muslim League and almost swept the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, where his party even won the election for Provincial Assembly.
Thus the party which won only one seat in 2002 and boycotted the 2008 election ended up getting 37 seats (till the last report) in 2013.
His rise would be watched closely in the international politics as his image is totally different from the one which the leaders of PPP and PML have. One can call it one-man phenomenon yet it can not be denied that there is nothing dysnastic about him like the PPP, PML and Awami National Party, which his party decimated in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa.
True many people attribute the big gain of his party to the celebrity status he enjoys yet it is also a fact that he slogged for more than one and a half decade to reach this place. The PTI was formed in April 1996.
This is very much unlike the rise of film-stars N T Rama Rao and M G Ramachandran in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. They stormed to become chief ministers soon after giving up the world of cinema. Imran, on the other hand, got off a disastrous start with winning no seat in the 1997 election.
As late as 2008 many political observers would simply poke fun on him and dismiss his party as no match to PPP and PML as both the parties had their own respective strongholds and bases. His marriage and subsequent divorce to Jemima was also attributed to his early failure.
Imran’s rise in cricket too was very slow and it took more than six years to be recognized as an international all-rounder. This was in total contrast to the rise of Ian Botham, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Vivian Richards, Brain Lara etc. He played his first Test in June 1971 against England in Edgbaston, Birmingham, but took five wickets in Test for the first time in 1977 against Australia in a match at Melbourne Cricket Ground, which Pakistan lost.
However, in the Sydney Test of the same series he took six wickets each in both the innings to end up with 12 wickets and ensure victory to his country. The series ended in one-all draw.
Gradually he improved his batting performance too and by 1982 he emerged as one of the best all-rounders of the world. In 88 Test he played he scored 3,807 runs and took 362 wickets, making him one of eight world cricketers to have achieved an ‘All-rounder’s Triple’ in Test matches. Here it needs to be recalled that his bowling performance should be read in the backdrop of the fact that in about a dozen Tests he did not bowl a single ball because of the back pain and played purely as a batsman.
He made his One Day International (ODI) debut in August 1974 against England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. But like Test cricket and politics he too made his place slowly to emerge as the captain of World Cup winning team 18 years later.
He retired from cricket after 1987 World Cup, but was forced by the public demand and appeal by the then President, Gen Zia-ul-Haq to lead the country once again. So it was in 1992, at the ripe of 39 that he led Pakistan to the first World Cup victory in Australia.
Let us see at what age he becomes the prime minister of the country.