KHAN, IMRAN (1952- ) Imran Khan belongs to a famous cricketing family from Pakistan that has produced three “test” captains In 1987, his team won the test series against England in England and against India in India His team performed better than expected against the West Indies, at that time the world’s best team In three series in 1986, 1988, and 1990, Pakistan drew with the West Indies His ambition to crown his career by winning the World Cup for Pakistan in 1987 was not realized when the Pakistanis, having played very well in the league matches, lost to Australia in the semifinals played at Lahore, Imran Khan’s hometown Australia went on to win the cup by defeating England in the finals at Calcutta Khan retired from the game following the World Cup series and was replaced as captain of the Pakistani side by his deputy, Javed Miandad But Miandad was not appointed captain and Imran Khan was persuaded to return to lead the team by President Zia ul-Haq, who was also the patron of Pakistan Cricket Control BoardThe president’s decision was vindicated and Imran Khan’s ambition was finally realized in 1992 when the team led by him came from behind and won the Fifth Cricket World Cup The series was held in Australia and New Zealand and at one point it seemed that Pakistan would not be able to make it even to the semifinals

This extraordinarily thrilling series brought new prominence to Imran Khan, and he and his team received an extremely warm welcome on their return to Pakistan The crowds that greeted them at Lahore’s airport matched in size and enthusiasm the crowds that had received Benazir Bhutto in 1986 when she returned to Pakistan from a period of selfimposed exile After this victory, Khan once again announced his retirement from the gameEven though he left the game of cricket, Imran Khan remained in the public eye as he launched an ambitious program to raise funds to build a cancer treatment and research center in Lahore in memory of his mother, who had succumbed to the disease at a relatively young age Imran brought the same level of commitment to this enterprise as he had done to the game of cricket, and the people of Pakistanboth native and emigrant-responded with equal enthusiasm Fundraising for the Shaukat Khan Memorial Trust Hospital brought Imran Khan in direct contact with hundreds of thousands of people as he traveled the country During this long crusade, he decided that it would be appropriate for him to play a political role in the country In reaching this decision he was encouraged by General (retired) Hameed Gul and Pasban, a social-service organization associated with the Jamaat-e-IslamiWith this shift in ambition also came a shift in his political and social outlook In 1994 Imran Khan gave a number of interviews in which he projected the image of a born-again Muslim, resentful of the influence of the West on Muslim cultures He also alienated Pakistan’s upper-class women by suggesting that in a Muslim society such as Pakistan’s, the most appropriate role for women was in the household as housewives

It was with considerable surprise, therefore, that the people of Pakistan received the news of his marriage to Jemima Goldsmith, the daughter of a prominent Jewish businessman from England On 25 April 1996, Imran Khan announced the launching of a political movement rather than a party He called the movement Tehrik-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) and focused on corruption as the most serious problem confronting the country Neither Khan nor his party were prepared for the general elections called by President Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari following the dismissal of the government of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto The Tehrik performed very poorly in the elections held on 3 February 1997 It did not win a single seat in the National or Provincial Assemblies Imran himself contested half a dozen seats but lost in all of themThere was some speculation that the military under Pervez Musharraf might bring in Imran Khan as the civilian head of the administration That did not happen, and he became one of the most vocal critics of President Musharraf and military rule In the national elections of October 2002, Khan once again fielded a number of candidates from his party but won only one seat when he was elected from Mianwah, the district of origin of his father While there was pressure on him to merge his party with the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam), Khan chose to retain a separate identity and took up a seat in the National Assembly as a member of the opposition

Imran Khan and Jemima were divorced in 2004

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