A politician ruling over the hearts of millions in Pakistan and abroad. Born on 5th October 1952 in Lahore, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-E-Insaf, a philanthropist, and founder of Pakistan’s first free Cancer hospital- Shaukat Khanum Hospital, has served as the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan. He’s a true heartthrob of Pakistan, from his days of glory in cricket to his roller coaster of a ride as a politician.
Khan led the cricket team of Pakistan for years and was a competent player. It was under his supervision that Pakistan, for the first time, won the 1992 World Cup. Just when his cricket career finished, he decided to join politics. Khan studied Politics and Philosophy in detail during his early school years.
Due to Imran Khan’s charismatic personality, and numerous efforts for Pakistan he is deemed of the most influential people in the world, and the only politician with the highest number of followers on his Twitter handle. He was featured in the ‘Times 100’ in 2019, and was also awarded Bahrain’s Highest Civil Award, ‘The King Hamdard Order of The Renaissance’ by Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa in 2019.
Sunday had the honor of exclusively interviewing the man of the hour, amid his Long March. Here is the inside scoop from Imran Khan’s container!
Sunday Exclusive Interview With Imran Khan
What would you like Pakistan’s youth to learn from your struggles and vision?
Answer: ‘A Life without struggle is a waste of human potential.’ It indeed struggles that
make a man worthy and discover their true potential, it I essential to ensure you are struggling in the right direction. As a child, my mother would often tell me to pray to be on the right path. And while growing up, I realized all the role models I used to look up to deviate from the right path and their direction. Over my life’s journey, my experiences, and numerous struggles, I was lucky enough to discover the right path and differentiate the right from the wrong which led me to let go of my glamorous and careless lifestyle and be more focused on life.
The straight path is indeed very difficult but gives you inner peace. While the other path may seem glamorous, but brings great inner torment and a life crisis. Thus, it’s imperative to remain grounded in your roots, identify the right path, and never shy away from struggles to be truly worthy and successful.
Question: Who is someone you would ask the youth of Pakistan to look up to?
Answer: Arshad Shareef! He is someone everyone should admire and look up to because he was the epitome of bravery. As someone who knew his life was in danger, and he was continuously threatened, he left the country not because he was scared, but because he had choked his voice and could no longer speak the truth.
To speak the truth, and not deviate from the path to justice, s living a life with a cause. If I was a young Pakistani or an aspiring journalist, I would look up to him. People like him are heroes that give life to society, and whom we should all look up to.
Question: What’s an important quality a great leader must have?
Answer: Any great leader must have 3 qualities. All the Messengers of Allah were leaders. And Our Prophet (PBUH) was the greatest leader of all times.
1. Their mission is above the ‘self’. They think above and beyond themselves, but rather for the betterment of society.
Overcoming your ego is most important to uncover your potential. Great leaders like Quid e Azam and Mandela had a vision beyond themselves.
2. They are always Truthful. Our Prophet’s two greatest qualities were ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’. They are truthful and just.
If a leader is not truthful and fair then that hinders his credibility and ability to command
3. They must be courageous. A coward and a leader together are a contradiction in both terms, so a leader must be
brave and fierce.
Question: What do you recommend children and the youth to keep in mind when making an important life decision?
Answer: I tell my children, the greatest thing you can achieve, is to overcome your fear. Fear is something that hinders you from achieving your potential. Many great cricketers were unable to achieve the level of the glory of their potential because they perhaps feared fast bowlers or the pressure of the game.
A verse of the Quran should be everyone’s mantra in guiding them. ‘Those who have failed, Allah removes their fears.’
The first man who climbed Mount Everest defied logic as those before either died or gave up. It’s because he overcame these fears that he was successful and is remembered today.
No great soldier or entrepreneur has ever been successful without taking risks. Faith and being close to religion are what truly removes your fears. Knowing that success, livelihood, respect, and your life is all in Allah’s hands gives you a whole new sense of empowerment, eliminating your fears and making you unstoppable.
Question: How do you remain positive and fit, amid all your daily stressors and exhausting routine amid the long march?
Answer: It’s the goal. It’s the vision, that keeps me going. If this was for personal gains or my career, I would have given up 26 years ago. I wouldn’t imagine Politics as a career! It makes no sense, to go around asking for votes. When Politics are for personal gains, people often are disrespected because they’re hypocritical and unable to serve others; their only mission is to serve themselves.
But when Politics is for a mission, and you follow the path of all the Prophets, it becomes sacred. It’s the greater cause and the vision that keeps you going despite all the hardships and failures. All the Prophets, Mandela, and Quid e Azam stood for justice, justice is what liberates nations, and that is what we are fighting for.
Question: What is the daily morning ritual that keeps you going daily?
Answer: Purpose! My purpose and the mission that I embarked on 26 years ago are on my mind. It was different as a cricketer, when I was governing I had to deal with so many crises daily, so your morning motivation keeps changing based on your mission. Motivation comes from striving for your vision, and mission, and accepting that there will be good and bad days. Success never comes easy, it always comes in cycles. Failures are a time of self-analyzing and reflecting on your mistakes to come out stronger. You just need to be accepting of the ups and downs and not give up.
Question: From a loved politician to a fashion icon; How do you plan your outfits?
Answer: All the credit goes to Bushra Bibi, who plans and decides on my behalf of me, and pairs up my shalwar kameez with a waistcoat. The last time I remember shopping is years ago when I was on tour, an Italian brand offered a collaboration, where I wore their outfit, and they gifted me twenty outfits in return for free. Since then, those gifted clothes have lasted me for years.
I am not used to wearing designer clothes, and since I’ve chosen Shalwar Kameez to wear, my life has become more accessible. I no longer have to choose what to wear and what not to, my wardrobes have been entirely managed by Bushra Bibi for four years, since our marriage.
Question: What is the secret to your vitality and fitness?
Answer: The more you put your body under stress, the better it functions. What does it mean to put your body under pressure It means to engage your body in exercises. Always be careful about what you eat and how much you exercise. These are the two factors that lead to a healthy life- your diet and your physical activity.
My fitness is primarily a product because of what I eat and how much I exercise. According to the Quran, the human body is made to struggle, and that’s what believe. Another reason why I am so fit is that I fast regularly. What happens when you fast? Your body and every organ of your body gets a message that it’s not getting sufficient food, and hence every
organ works hard to perform its function because that’s the job of every organ to do. Therefore, when organs are brought into a state of stress, they function better than before, and that is one of the reasons why I am fit, even at the age of 70.
Watch the full interview o Sunday’s website and catch the icon in action, exclusively on
Sunday’s Youtube channel!