Imran_head_670
PTI chief Imran Khan. — File photo

It was the early sixties, and Ayaz Sadiq and Imran Khan were nearly ten years old. Both were playing hockey at Atchison school Lahore one day, as sports was mandatory for the students.

Sadiq, who has been elected as Speaker National Assembly, beat Khan on Lahore's NA-122 in the May 11 general elections.

“I was an average student, while Imran was the brighter one,” recalls Sadiq, “but we both shared a similar passion in sports.” he added. “Imran was slightly better than me in cricket though,” smiled Sadiq.

Sadiq also remembers his other school friends who have now turned into prominent politicians like Faisal Saleh Hayat and Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan. But it was that one hockey match with Imran which Ayaz says he will never forget.

“Imran and I were playing hockey and he was standing behind me which I didn’t notice. When I tried hitting the ball, I accidentally hit Imran with the hockey stick on his face, and he started bleeding.”

Sadiq said that he was horrified, they were young and even minor injuries meant a big deal back then.

Nearly five decades after that incident, Ayaz Sadiq and Imran Khan contested elections against each other in Lahore, the second time in a decade.

In 2002, Sadiq, a candidate for PML-N beat Imran Khan in Lahore from NA-122 by a hefty margin.

With the Sharifs in exile and Musharraf in power, it was a big victory, claims Sadiq.

“People called me a fool for contesting elections on a PML-N ticket. 2002 was a difficult election for me because then my leaders (Sharifs) weren’t here and people thought they weren’t coming back. Imran was close to Musharraf. Right after the referendum, I feared Musharraf would help Imran win.”

Before becoming political rivals, the two school friends were together in Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) in the late 90s, and contested elections together, with Imran contesting for the National Assembly while Sadiq for the provincial assembly seats from the same constituency, but both lost to PML-N.

Sadiq eventually left PTI citing lack of understanding with Imran.

“After we lost the elections, I sent Imran a list of issues PTI faced. I expected that Imran would call or come to meet me as a friend to discuss the issues, but he never responded.”

Sadiq left the PTI in 1998, but in good words “I wrote that I was quitting PTI, but we remained friends.”

It was perhaps politics that distanced the two friends. Sadiq felt politics changed Imran’s personality.

“Imran was shy during his school days, didn’t speak much to people. He was a loner, he wasn’t naughty like us,” said Sadiq. “I never thought he would come into politics because he was never that sort, and even now I don’t think he has the temperament to be a politician,” he added.

Sadiq finds Imran’s aggressive speeches in political rallies quite unlike the Imran he knew before politics.

In his election campaign, Imran has not stopped short when it comes to criticism against the Sharif brothers, who seem to be the main targets in his speeches. Sadiq feels Imran’s aggressive speeches will hurt his reputation in the longer run.

“I think I have the right as a friend to tell Imran not to use aggressive language against the Sharifs or anyone, because it might hurt people's feelings.”

Despite Imran’s anti-Sharif speeches, Sadiq refuses to ignore the mutual respect he believes exists between the two rival candidates.

“He is no leader for me…he is the same Imran as he was for me in school. I cannot disassociate with someone I have known since 1960. I nevertheless never expected this from Imran.”

This year, Sadiq faced Imran in the same constituency — NA-122. He had earlier claimed that he was in a stronger position to defend his title with the Sharifs back in the country and Musharraf far from interfering and was subsequently proved to be true.

Although, prior to the elections, things looked different in the PTI camp too. Imran who had gained more popularity in recent months was believed by political analysts to give PML-N a run for its money.

Days before the election, Sadiq said he knew that Imran was contesting from the same constituency because he hadn’t forgotten the hockey match which injured him.

"He is contesting against me in elections to take revenge” a laughing Sadiq told Dawn.com in April.

— Updated on June 03, 2013

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Comments (83)

Usman
May 1, 2013 3:45 am
I can talk politely too after making a hefty amount at the expense of the General Public through corruption, nepotism, and criminal negligence. You won't hear a swear word from me, I promise.
Muhammad Naveed
May 1, 2013 9:31 am
OK IMRAN & PTI both are hopes. Lets try our bet to keep them alive. Lets bury the old school politics and welcome change. A Change Dont Forget IF I want to change country I need to change myself first. HOPE SENSE PREVAILS
AA
May 2, 2013 12:30 pm
I support Imran's aggressive speeches against Nawaz because Imran talks using facts while Sharif's use manipulation to fool people and PPP is all about using sympathy in reference dead people.
Malik
May 2, 2013 7:27 am
I doubt his sincerity if he is unable to judge the 'sincerity' of his own so called 'leader'. How can one turn out to be good for the country if his leader is corrupt. Just because he is less corrupt that the rest, does not mean he is the best. BTW, have you recently listened to the ad by PPPP in which Mr. Shahbaz Sharif is conversing with Justice Qayyum for a 'hola hatth' on a certain case? Speaks volumes of their honesty...
Kdspirited
April 30, 2013 9:14 pm
That is the difference bwteeen you and IK. He may nver have amounted to much as a polititician because he is a leader. And you Mr. Sadiq will never amount to be a leader you will remain a mere politician who left PTI when it was down to be in politics and in power. Now only to feel sorry for what you did. No regrets dear sir.
Asghar Ali
May 2, 2013 10:32 am
Imran is hope for change! People who wish change in corrupt system should help him in coming elections.
Khota
May 2, 2013 10:26 am
Did you change yourself? Me? I am perfect or purr-fact?
A sincere Pakistani
May 2, 2013 9:42 am
Sadiq deserves appreciation for speaking true and being nice even to his political rival, Imran.
Malik
May 2, 2013 7:11 am
I myself have been frustrated over what IK is doing lately, but probably he is forced to do so to appeal to the public that wants so. In my opinion, he should refrain from doing so as it does not match up with his otherwise great personality. Having said that, it means nothing to me as I know he is pure in his heart and is sincere, unlike the corrupt politicians. That is all which matters.
Khota
May 2, 2013 10:24 am
@Ahmed Running in the polls, and always second, for the next two or three times.
azhar
May 1, 2013 9:48 pm
Hope this time hockeys won't be used!
Mushtaq Ahmad
May 1, 2013 3:58 pm
Sadiq should stand down as he excepts that IMRAN was beter than me in all fields
JAVAID KHAN
May 2, 2013 4:40 am
Ayaz is right that Imran Khan is not a kind of politicians that PMLN have.He is sincere and honest for this country.Inshallah he will win the election.
MOHAMMAD
May 2, 2013 3:04 am
HEALTHY COMPETITION IS WELCOME, BUT NO VIOLENCE PLEASE.
Khan
April 30, 2013 4:20 pm
Brilliant! Despite running for same seat, he still did not use a single word against Imran, in fact treated him with respect. I wish other leaders learn from this man, and although I do support Imran but I agree he should refrain from using abusive language against anyone, this thing does not match with his personality.
KHAN
May 1, 2013 12:23 am
Unfortunately,he will loose badly against Sadiq
Imad Qureshi
April 30, 2013 10:00 pm
Imran was "slightly" better than you in cricket? Wow..Did you look up the meaning of "slightly" recently Mr Sadiq?
Amer Fatima Bahleem
May 1, 2013 3:44 am
sadiq's thoughts are not showing his friendship courtesy with imran rather it shows his diplomatic behaviour that is favour towards sharif party and jealousy towards IK! by the way no one knows who is sadiq and there is no match between sadiq and IK...
Khalid
April 30, 2013 4:16 pm
Ayaz who...?
endcorrupt
May 1, 2013 1:00 pm
Not just Imran but we all are fed up with the corrupt & vile practices of these politicians. Imran needs to be stand out, stand apart & stand tall to these thugs to distance himself from there filthy corrupt image. Sharifs are marginally better than bhuttos who have destroyed Pakistan.
Ahmed
May 1, 2013 4:23 am
Agree, Mr. Haque. Frankly, I am surprised that Dawn has published this low level article promoting Ayaz Sadiq, a high school kid. Pakistan needs some serious restructuring -- Only achievable if the leader has a vision, conviction and commitment.
Amer Fatima Bahleem
May 1, 2013 4:27 am
whatever is being commented on PTI to make it unsuccessful would soon be worthless on 11th may!
amir
April 30, 2013 4:23 pm
"Imran was shy during his school days, didn’t speak much to people. He was a loner and not the same person".... I don't think any person is the same at age 10 and age 62 hahaha.
Irfan Butt
April 30, 2013 4:24 pm
Mr. Sadeq, You have lost. Take that to the bank and cash. Imran will win fair and square. Bye bye!
Naila
April 30, 2013 7:33 pm
The headline of this report bears hallmarks of tabloid journalism.
Amna
May 1, 2013 3:51 am
what a waste of time reading this !
Zak
April 30, 2013 8:42 pm
Good to read old public school anecdote , I am from Burn Hall of the 60's . Ch Nisar Ali was around that time. As for elections-imran awey hee awey.
sadiq
April 30, 2013 4:06 pm
so its a big thing to put in the headlines
Nasim Khan
April 30, 2013 6:50 pm
Imran has a heart of lion. He has probably forgotten what happened 50 years ago.
Hasan
April 30, 2013 3:49 pm
Ayaz Sadiq should be ready for Khan's revenge, in General Elections :) Injuries are critical, whether major or minor, Mr. Sadiq, This is why we want Imran Khan, so he shall cease the on-going unwanted injuries in Pakistan.
Sinai
April 30, 2013 7:05 pm
Dawn standard has stoop so low now no news regarding IK becomes a big news.
Nasim Khan
April 30, 2013 7:00 pm
I don't think so....
TKhan
April 30, 2013 6:55 pm
Imran survived the hockey stick, but Mr. Sadiq the paper ballots are going to hit you so hard that you will see thousands of stars. And Imran will be the shinning one; right in the middle!
Imtiaz Faruqui
April 30, 2013 6:55 pm
All educated Pakistanis like Imran Khan to win, but the match has been fixed, Nawaz Shareef will be made win , PTI ,MQM and PPP will sit in the opposition, and the same era of loot and plunder will go carry on again.
Nasim Khan
April 30, 2013 6:52 pm
Bravo!
zia khan
May 1, 2013 8:45 am
Sadiq iss simply trying to boost his stature by narrating his association wth Imran. Imran is going to hit him so hard with his bat that he will never dare to tell childhood stories in future.
Agha Ata (USA)
April 30, 2013 6:22 pm
I don't think Imran Khan is vindictive.
TEAMIMRAN
April 30, 2013 6:14 pm
Sadiq is giong to get a slap on his face when the KING IMRAN KHAN WILL RULE INSH ALLAH
imran
May 1, 2013 8:41 am
Absolutely right Akram. What you just said sums up the whole story, but we still need to keep things polite and mannered. Millions idols Imran Khan, they follow him like you and me, we take courage and lead from him, but he needs to leave good things for everyone, i know Sharif brothers deserve worse than this, but i still believe Imran khan needs to keep things good and natutal as much as possible. Because Imran khan is a gentleman and it doesnt go with his personality, but if he doesnt do this, a lot of people wouldnt get convinced, because i know probably 90% people prefer the spicy debates and jokes and they love it and that probably is the reason imran khan is doing to convince people, bcecause its very difficult to be nice and win peoples heart in Pakistan, because we are one hell of a nation. But i still wish and Support PTI, because i believe its been led by an honest man. may Allah bless Pakistan and PTI.
John Donald
April 30, 2013 5:54 pm
This guy Sadiq is a part and parcel of same old politics that has completely destroyed Pakistan. We outsider sees people like him a part of corruption not a part of construction.
Hasan
April 30, 2013 5:50 pm
Reading the last quote, isn't it funny how Khan's rivals already know that he's going to remain not-out !
Akarm Ranjha
April 30, 2013 5:39 pm
the manners / the face / the looks and the HULLIA does not matter - - What matters is what you DELIVER. Take example of Mr. Edhi - one of the greatest man ever produced in Pakistan. I do not know Ayaz (Or whatever) - what matters is that if he Delivers ... we need Sincere people
Ahmed
May 1, 2013 10:08 am
Cheap publicity, by the way he should say sorry now.
Khalil
April 30, 2013 5:31 pm
PTI will win inshallah!
shaheen
April 30, 2013 5:32 pm
No doubt, Imran is not a politician but he feels the pain of his nation and people. He deserves a victory. Pakistan has been spoiled by the corrupt past politicians. If he is in power, he should be given time too, because past politicians daaged the country a lot. He will not come in power with a magic stick to improve the situation in Pakistan in a weak or months but needs years. Please cast your vote for the sake of Pakistan not for friend or relative candidates.
Hasnain Haque
April 30, 2013 5:20 pm
You are right Ahmed sink or swim, mind you Pakistan is drowning anyway so what is the worst that can happen, so I urge all Pakistanis to vote for PTI, give them a chance. Dear Pakistanis be brave, be bold and vote with your concious without thinking of personal benefits but for the sake of the nation and the future generations.
Faysal Hamid
May 1, 2013 8:21 am
Mr. Ayaz Sadiq, if this story was real and it depict what it is. If you were friends in your school days and come along with Mr Imran Khan in PTI for sometime. And if, as this story said, you still consider him as a friend, but you left PTI because of some differences. WHAT TYPE OF FRIENDSHIP DO YOU CONSIDER IT, BY THE WAY????
Ahmed
May 1, 2013 10:10 am
I wish my eye to see Imran Khan for two or three terms in a row, Ameen.
Ayaz
May 1, 2013 7:45 am
I don't agree with Sadiq that Imran is not fit for the job. Imran Khan is a celebrity-the whole world know him- he never involved in corruption. Like Pakistan Cricket, except Imran everyone was involved in scandal and fixing,
yousafhaque
May 1, 2013 7:46 am
'He is no leader for me' Sure he is no leader for the likes of this article because of the mess they have created over the past 65 years which Mr.Khan plans to clean up by the help of people and by the Grace-of-God.InshaAllah.Imran is rightly angry at the state of affairs prevailing in the country just like every Pakistani who cares for the future of his/her kids
raja
April 30, 2013 4:55 pm
Have a heart man, in everything we try to find something wrong. To be student of a good college does not me you are elite, you become elite with better education and grooming not money alone. Please be positive in life and sacrifice today for your kids by sending them to good institutions and reap the fruit. With regards
Amer Fatima Bahleem
May 1, 2013 4:12 am
PTI depicts internal feelings for betterment of pakistan!
Nisar Ahmed
May 1, 2013 10:17 am
As far as my knowledge is concerned, this time PTI is stronger than many other parties. But defeating PNL (N) in Punjab specially in an area where most of the times, Sharif brothers had strong public vote, seems bit inconvincing. Hope that new Politicians will bring Pakistan back on her feet.
TKhan
April 30, 2013 4:37 pm
@Jamil Siddique. Or may be not. Elite children know who is a elite child. It is a close knit group called Wealthy. Their parents don't want to spoil them, but can't help it.
concerned212
April 30, 2013 4:33 pm
Get ready for a thrashing by Imran khan in the upcomign election,s Mr Sadiq.
Fayzee
May 1, 2013 6:32 am
You are right and I am one of those many who feel like changing my vote preference from IK to PML-N only due to IK's strange attitude lately.
Ihsan
May 1, 2013 6:03 am
Imran is a hope and hopes should not fade.We must enable him and the party with a big win and get red of professional and family policians who have corrupted the whole system. Ihsan
obaid
May 1, 2013 5:29 am
I wish Ayaz would still be in PTI (or independent) and contest against the status quo.
Kaleem
May 1, 2013 5:13 am
If he has joined PTI, he'd be taken as symbol of change, like other 237 candidates of PTI.
Khan Baba
May 1, 2013 2:03 am
My friend Pakistan was made for the rural feudal lords or the army. The Urban educated people will not be able to form government in Pakistan until majority of Pakistan is educated. The urban population of Pakistan is in minority and minorities do not form governements. I just hope we keep the army out of it for ever - that is the first step. Then the youth of the country start educating themselves and learn to stand up to the zamidarss and the waderas. Mr Sadiq is probably a zamidar that is why he left PTI af ter disagreement with Imran. The youth of Pakistan are in minority and they will not win the election but keep up the hard work boys and girls - "wo subha kabhi to aai gi"
Taimoor
May 1, 2013 1:54 am
God why are people so sensitive these, its like a bunch of teenage girls running for election. Grow up your track record is whats being attacked and it just so happens that the tract record is horrendous. Which not only should be attacked but any future plans to add to that record fiercely attacked. So I agree 100% with Imran this is a fight for Pakistan's survival, truth needs to be laid bare. If anyone other Imran gets elected personally I will be happy for each hour of load shedding, each father not being able to feed his kids, each day of pain and misery this country endures It will deserve every bit of it, and will pray for this country to cease to exist. Remove the name "Islamic" republic of Pakistan God has left this country a long time ago. The fortress of Islam HAH. Probably won't get posted the truth is painful.
M. Saeed Awan
May 1, 2013 1:36 am
Imran is not using aggressive but foul language as he is taught by agencies and some foolish friends. He doesn't know the basic ABC of politics. That's why he has not made any mark on national and international horizon. Except Punjab he is not been taken seriously and still twitter group (Imran's supporters) believe that he can be good leader to run this country. Amazing.....
Arcane
May 1, 2013 11:45 am
PTI Trolls are everywhere.
Amir Adnan
May 1, 2013 12:06 am
All the people making comments about Imran khan and Sadiq are from the elite class..They are not aware of the mood of poor people of Pakistan { 95% of voter} So be prepared for big surprises. The twitter/facebook/burger family will come to know this fact on 11th May
Pakistani
April 30, 2013 11:00 pm
Imran might have lost then, but he was the real winner. Anyone leaving a person with integrity & joining hands with a known absconder does not have much of a personality.
AP
April 30, 2013 10:37 pm
Probably the most misleading headline ever!
salman
April 30, 2013 10:26 pm
i am amazed to know that pml-n got a lota from pti back in 1998 :)
Mohammad Farooq
April 30, 2013 10:14 pm
Same difference.
Mohammad Farooq
April 30, 2013 10:08 pm
Have you heard Mr. Shabaz Sharif saying good words for his buddy president Zardari. I guess that is kosher for PML-N.
Tariq Mehsud
April 30, 2013 10:06 pm
Imran Khan is man of principles an as he stated at many occasions that thank GOD he don't have the experience like his rivals have and INSHALLAH Imran Khan will be our prime minister of PAKISTAN.
Noor
April 30, 2013 1:34 pm
nice article, but seems IK would be victorious this time around. GO IK GO!!!
farid
May 1, 2013 4:43 am
This guy should be proud that Imran has ever associated with him. Imran is a lion and this guy seems to be a jackal.
debater
April 30, 2013 1:53 pm
It is people like Sadiq who are called Lotas of today.
Salim Akbani
April 30, 2013 2:04 pm
These two are the faces of civil Pakistani citizens, who can disagree without being hateful or worse. Taliban should take note, on how to disagree without killing people. Non one wins over with hatred and anger.
Jamil Siddique
April 30, 2013 2:04 pm
Sons of yester years elite are today's elite. I am thinking of sending my son to Atchison because that would make me today's elite and him tomorrows elite.
haris
April 30, 2013 2:11 pm
“After we lost the elections, I sent Imran a list of issues PTI faced. I expected that Imran would call or come to meet me as a friend to discuss the issues, but he never responded.” What a lame excuse for making an escape route to Parliament. Oh dear! oh dear! I think mr. sadiq is plotting a move to re-join PTI. lol!
Ali Shah
April 30, 2013 2:12 pm
A nice light hearted read and good to know that both Imran and Ayaz have a mutual respect )
Danyal
April 30, 2013 2:13 pm
It sounds like the view coming from a 13 year old in my opinion.
Ali
April 30, 2013 2:30 pm
I am PTI fan but it is good to see how politely and positively Mr. Ayaz talked about the childhood memories of his political rival (Imran Khan). This shows the maturity of Mr. Ayaz. We need such positive and mature people in Pakistani politics. This will be a healthy competition.
Jawwad
April 30, 2013 3:19 pm
Imran never played Cricket in school. He was in fact the Captain of Aitchison's Hockey team (not sure which year's) but he can seen in pictures with his hockey stick in old pavillion ground.
Tahira
April 30, 2013 3:20 pm
The continuously deteriorating conditions in Pakistan has forced a sincere and sensitive person like Imran Khan to enter the field of politics willy nilly. He may not be a screaming orator but his genuine passion for improving the lot of the common Pakistani is written in bold letters on his forehead. He would not spend millions of public money to produce a show piece bus to give a one time free joy ride to the public for a month or so but rather use the money wisely for long-term benefit to give people the ability to earn their own living and improve their lives. He will also not dole out Rs 2000/ per month to buy votes for his party from the poorest of the poor. I hope that my countrymen will see through the gimmicks of those who have enjoyed life in the seat of power in the past and choose wisely. This is a matter of status quo or change in their lives for the better and there is only one clear choice. Long live Pakistan
Authenticy
April 30, 2013 3:27 pm
Aitchison *College. Not Aitchison school
Ahmed
April 30, 2013 3:28 pm
Imran is the only hope, in my opinion. In order to clean the mess created in last 200 years, we need change -- not musical chair being played between two so called "big parties". Both Zardaris and Sharifs should go to London and count their money. We need to fix this country. Give Imran a chance. He can either sink or swim.
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