Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, a cricketing hero-turned-politician who was arrested on Tuesday, whipped up standard assist amid decades-high inflation and a crippling financial slowdown earlier than his ouster final 12 months.
The 70-year-old has since proven no signal 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 basic elections.
Khan had for months averted arrest in a variety of instances registered towards him that embrace prices of instigating crowds to violence. There have been huge protests towards earlier makes an attempt to arrest him.
Khan was pushed out of the premiership in April final 12 months amid public frustration at excessive inflation, rising deficits and endemic corruption that he had promised to stamp out.
The Supreme Courtroom overturned his choice to dissolve parliament and defections from his ruling coalition meant he misplaced the no-confidence vote that adopted.
That put him amongst an extended listing of elected Pakistani prime ministers who’ve did not see out their full phrases – none has accomplished 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, affluent nation revered overseas. However the firebrand nationalist’s fame and charisma weren’t sufficient.
As soon as criticised for being underneath the thumb of the highly effective navy institution, Khan’s ouster got here following worsening relations between him after which military chief Basic Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The navy, which has an outsized function in Pakistan having dominated the nation for almost half of its historical past and received management over a few of its largest financial establishments, has stated it stays impartial in direction of politics.
However Khan is once more among the many nation’s hottest leaders, in response to native polls.
His rise to energy in 2018 came to visit 20 years after he first launched his political social gathering, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), or Pakistan Motion for Justice social gathering, in 1996.
Regardless of his fame and standing as a hero in cricket-mad Pakistan, PTI languished in Pakistan’s political wilderness, not successful a seat aside from Khan’s for 17 years.
In 2011, Khan started drawing big crowds of younger Pakistanis disillusioned with endemic corruption, continual electrical energy shortages and crises in training and unemployment.
He drew even larger backing within the ensuing years, with educated Pakistani expatriates leaving their jobs to work for his social gathering and pop musicians and actors becoming a member of his marketing campaign.
His objective, Khan informed supporters in 2018, was to show Pakistan from a rustic with a “small group of rich and a sea of poor” into an “instance for a humane system, a simply system, for the world, of what an Islamic welfare state is”.
That 12 months he was victorious, marking a uncommon ascension by a sporting hero to the top of politics. Observers cautioned, nonetheless, that his largest enemy was his personal rhetoric, having raised supporters’ hopes sky-high.
Playboy to reformer
Born in 1952, the son of a civil engineer, Khan grew up with 4 sisters in an prosperous city Pashtun household in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-biggest metropolis.
After a privileged training, he went on to the College of Oxford the place he graduated with a level in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
As his cricket profession flourished, he developed a playboy repute in London within the late 1970s.
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 additionally resulted in divorce.
His third marriage to Bushra Bibi, a non secular chief whom Khan had come to know throughout his visits to a 13th century shrine in Pakistan, mirrored his deepening curiosity in Sufism – a type of Islamic observe that emphasises non secular closeness to God.
As soon as in energy, Khan launched into his plan of constructing a “welfare” state modelled on what he stated was a super system courting again to the Islamic world some 14 centuries earlier.
However his anti-corruption drive was closely criticised as a software for sidelining political opponents – lots of whom have been imprisoned on prices of graft.
Pakistan’s generals additionally remained highly effective and navy officers, retired and serving, have been positioned in command of greater than a dozen civilian establishments.
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)