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If then was now

Updated Mar 02, 2014 11:12am


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Photo Illustration by Abro
Photo Illustration by Abro

In a cricketing career spanning almost 20 years (1971-92), Imran Khan graduated from becoming an average medium-pace bowler to becoming one of the most effective fast bowlers and all-rounders of the late 1970s and 1980s.

But what lifted him a notch above the other three top all-rounders of the period (Ian Botham, Richard Haddlee and Kapil Dev), was the fact that Khan was an equally good captain. Fearless, intelligent, leading from the front and always looking for a victory — especially against heavy odds.

Yes, that was Khan the cricketer. But the other day I was wondering what he would have been like as a cricketer if he’d played the game the way he plays his politics.

During the 1992 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in which Khan’s team defied the odds and fought its way into the finals (against England), Khan appeared in a T-shirt that had an illustrated image of a tiger on the front. He told former Australian captain Ian Chappell that the tiger represents his team’s fighting spirit and they will fight like ‘cornered tigers’.

Now imagine if that Khan was just like today’s Khan. This is what he would have told Chappell: “Well, Ian, I overheard a senior cricket official say that we only have 40 per cent chance of winning. That means 60pc chance of losing the game. So I told the boys let’s just go to the English dressing room for a chat and some tea and then go home. Well, actually, the boys go home and I go to London for the Royal ‘Save the Tibetan Pandas’ charity ball’.”

In 1982 Khan became one of the 10 players who rebelled against the captaincy of Javed Miandad. Khan said, his was a principled stand because he thought Miandad was still too young and inexperienced to be the captain of a team in which most of the players were a lot older than him.

Whatever the case, now imagine what he would have said had he been like what he is today: ‘Miandad is corrupt and incompetent! I have personally called a friend of mine in the British government and told him that Miandad should not be allowed to play county cricket in England. What’s more, thousands of my fans have been placing phone calls to the Scotland Yard and telling them to investigate Miandad’s activities in the English county circuit. I have also asked the anti-Miandad players to hold a sit-in in Miandad’s home town, Karachi. He must go! Go Miandad go! Go Miandad go!’

After Miandad resigned from captaincy, Imran was made the captain. He didn’t say much at the time but quietly lifted his game and led (by example) the team to a series of Test victories.

Had he been like what he is today, Khan would have said a lot: ‘Now that I am the captain, I will change the nature of the team and the board, and the fans and the grounds, and anything whatsoever to do with Pakistan cricket in 90 days! Yes, just 90 days!’

In 1976, a young Khan took 12 wickets in the third Test match in Sydney during Pakistan team’s 3-Test tour of Australia. Pakistan (captained by Mushtaq Mohammed) squared the series 1-1 after winning the Sydney Test.

Khan was the man of the match but it was his seniors, Mushtaq, Asif Iqbal and Majid Khan who did all the talking (to the press). But had Khan been like what he is today, he would have said this: ‘I won the team the match. I was the main bowler. I was the main catalyst. I as in me as in moi has single-handedly given the team its first Test victory in Australia. I! Not Mushtaq. He’s a corrupt captain. He drinks beer.’

During the speech he made soon after winning the 1992 World Cup, Khan forgot to thank the efforts of his team. After being criticised by the press, he was big enough to eventually apologise and suggest that he blundered because he was not much of a public speaker.

However, imagine if that Khan was like today’s Khan. This is how he would have reacted to the criticism he faced from the Pakistan media over his speech: ‘This is an outrage! This media is full of corrupt journalists who are on the payroll of the enemies of Pakistan cricket and are being paid millions of Australian dollars! I have proof which I will release at the right time. How can they criticise me? I am a good Muslim, inshahallah, mahshallah, and alhamdulillah a flawless patriot who prays five times a day. And I also save Tibetan Pandas.’

In 1988 Khan was pulled out of an early retirement to lead Pakistan against one the strongest sides in world cricket at the time, the West Indies. Pakistan was to tour the Caribbean islands and was expected to lose against a strong Windies team on fast pitches and in front of hostile crowds.

But Khan took up the challenge and led the team to square the hard-fought series.

He would have responded differently had he been like what he is today. When asked to return and lead the side against the formidable Windies side, he would have said: ‘Dekhein aap ko nahi pata, sub muj ko pata hai (listen, you don’t know but I do), the Windies are honourable cricketers but if you try to win against them, they will slaughter you. Instead of playing against them, we should hold a dialogue and a game of chess with them. Liberal fascists in the ICC want us to be thrashed by the Windies. It’s a conspiracy against Pakistan cricket. And me. As in I. As in me, as in moi.’

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Comments (66) Closed

Guest64 Feb 23, 2014 09:03am

Brilliant Illustration of a Person Who has become and Who he Was . That is what Real Pakistani style politics Does to a Creative Brand i.e turn the leader of a pack of hungry tirgers to the Sheep herd dog whose only aim is to keep running around in circles , keep barking but actually do nothing and yet feel great within.

Nauman Feb 23, 2014 10:19am

Ah yes, being a captain in cricket is one thing but being a captain in Politics is another. In cricket there is always a comeback when a good knock and a good bowling spell is good enough to win a match and public jubilation. All is then forgotten quickly and one becomes a hero in no time. And then away you go to Soho etc to relieve pressure and be merry.

Politics is harsh. The percentages games take a different meaning. For example the TPI slogan or removing corruption in 90 days is something that cannot be achieved by ball tampering and invoking reverse swing. Try to do that on TTP and Sami ul Haq over an evening meal. The tablecloth will be scribbled all over with choice verses and their version of shariah cricket and playing 'fair' on the field.

Mohsin Feb 23, 2014 10:33am

Completely unfair satire.... Politics and cricket are worlds apart. In politics, you have to be vocal and opinionated if one is to sway the public opinion. Imran Khan on his own can not change the present system even if he comes into power. Talks or war, neither will change Pakistan unless education and economy improve.

Sarah Yawar Feb 23, 2014 11:04am

Fantastic satire once again by the leading satirist of Pakistan. Btw, how come NFP with such a large readership and fan-base is hardly ever seen on TV or on the panels of all these literary festivals?

I've heard he's a recluse, but is it this or those haughty people who organise these festivals have no no clue about satire?

Indus Feb 23, 2014 11:05am


Camila Innayat Feb 23, 2014 12:17pm

@Sarah Yawar: They have a clue, but NFP has been unique. Not only is he a punchy satirist, his pieces on the cultural history of Pakistan have been equally famous. Also, when he writes about cricket his pieces are so refreshing compared to the those writing on the game.

Secondly, yes, he's known as a recluse but why one hardly sees him on TV or festivals or seminars is also because he is not one to forge networks and friendships with the typical seminar and festival crowd. He seems to remain aloof of all this in spite of the fact he has a huge fan base inside and outside Pakistan.

Tahir A Feb 23, 2014 12:19pm

@Sarah Yawar:

Same question I myself posed although I have seen him appear in a satirical panel consisting of three guys on Aaj TV (I think) back in 2008. One was an ex-Oxon fella and these guys used to come out with current affair topics mixed with good humoured satire. Good enjoyable stuff, it was.

I have heard NFP on Geo TV (Sana Bucha - Leikin) on more serious issues but to be very frank, he comes out across a lot better with written stuff. And that's where we and "uubartta hua" Pakistan want him and similar writers.

obserever Feb 23, 2014 12:20pm

Three people to betray Pakistani nation in recent times: (1) Pervez Musharraf (using typical tactics to prolong his personal rule, not implementing the 7 points he had promised when he took power, not implementing a clear policy against extremism but adopting an approach where reaction was imminent); (2) ex-CJP (not fulfilling the promises so many people made in good faith during restoration of judiciary movement, turning CJP office into a house of display of political and administrative prowess, clearly displaying headline-hungry behavior, targeting a typical political party and siding with a typical mindset to achieve short term results); (3) Imran Khan (for promising more than he could deliver, for branding established political forces as corrupt and making the worst of them all his ally in government, for helping the cause of militants and shielding them against action by government action, for deceiving his urban voters in the name of change, helping rule of one sect versus rule of law).

CI Feb 23, 2014 12:24pm

I wish Khan reads this. A PTI spokesperson told me early last year that Khan is actually an NFP fan! I thought he was joking, but he wasn't. He said Khan loved NFP's satirical articles. Singer Ali Zafar who was once close to Khan confirmed this.

Khan has been interviewed a million times. But I wish to see him being interviewed by NFP, the person I believe understands the ups and downs of Khan better than anyone.

Kaku Feb 23, 2014 12:28pm

@Tahir A: I agree. I also saw his satire session at 2013's KLF. It was jam-packed and he held the court well by being at his sarcastic best. I was expecting him to do another such session at this year's KLF too, but was disappointed to note that he wasn't there.

Kublai Feb 23, 2014 12:30pm

@Nauman: If politics is hard then you should know what you are getting into. Don't make frivolous promises to be achieved in 90 days. Or give speeches about unattainable goals just to get votes. Don't become an apologist for terrorists, militants. With no empathy for 50,000 dead. Or those grievously wounded. Some with permanent hideous injuries. Or even consider, or talk about victims families.

Ravi Dallas TX Feb 23, 2014 12:34pm

Brilliant, love the creative twist to the usual parody.

M. Wasim Khan Feb 23, 2014 12:39pm

NFP, you were certainly short on time when you had to write this piece for sunday paper. This isn't your usual class. sounded more like some thing personal here. Not that it was completely disappointing but certainly was void of full fun that reading your articles always are. Another observation, your opinion, and quite valid, that PTI is dependent on IK's charismatic person, then why object to I, me and moi.

Tariq K Sami Feb 23, 2014 12:49pm

I would like to add a few more points. Imran is probably the greatest cricketer ever. For one reason the greatest cricketer must be an all-rounder. Richie Benaud says that in an era of great all-rounders he was probably the best. Like you said he was also a brilliant Captain (example Garfield Sobers and Richard Hadlee maybe Kapil Dev and Botham too were not Captains). He promoted himself in the batting order to come one down after the openers were out cheaply. He inspired a culture of fast bowler in Pakistan bowlers like Wasim and Waqar and Shoaib Akhtar and later fast bowlers like Asif and Amir. He is also an author and wrote books on Cricket (and other subjects including a book on the Pathan's the Warrior Race). An innovator he brought Neutral Umpires to the game. Also when the umpire gave Srikant out and Srikant started to protest Imran asked called him back to the crease. That was the most magnanimous thing. The umpires just shook their heads. But can the opposing captain call him back asked a commentator. He is in the Hall of Fame. He was also the handsomest Cricketer. For all these reasons he is probably the Greatest Cricketer Ever. He is also a tireless champion for the poor and downtrodden (flood relief work and Shaukat Khanum Hospital). He is the leading donor year after year. He is the Chancellor of Bradford University and founder of Nimal University. He is tall but not too tall. He is fair but not too fair. He is slim but not too lanky. He has a good mane of hair (unlike the Dengue brothers who are bald). He is well educated but not too brainy. He was a suave playboy but he changed and became a Jamaatee (that's not easy). He is Punjabi and also a Pashtoon which is in itself an advantage to begin with in Pakistan. He is rich but not too rich. Most importantly he married well. Rather too well, for Jemima is the only daughter of Sir Goldsmith one of the richest men in Europe with ties to the royal houses of both Britain and France. So does not have to worry about his airline tickets and kids education or child support. His marriage ended but he found a new mission in life. He is divorced and yet Jemima still bats for him. (How many men can remain on good terms with their ex.wives !). He is the Chairman of PTI. Hopefully one day he will become the Prime Minister of Pakistan. I rank him next only to Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

swat khan Feb 23, 2014 01:05pm

NFP has very keen and accurate power of observation almost about every thing but IK and BHUTTOs, he knows more than they themselves . IK should change his policy of" Self praising, others Blaming". love satire, NFP made my Sunday, fun day.

salman Feb 23, 2014 01:17pm

@Tariq K Sami: Well written but you have forgot to mention his contribution in politics. # man who sold pakistan to Taliban and made the youth intolerant & Confused. The irreparable damage he has already done, even U turn will not compensate. These are nation Psychology and social matters he needs to be careful, realist & competent enough. There is no second inning chance its matter of nation future.

Ram kirshan Feb 23, 2014 01:58pm

great. love you dear. this is really a way to say Mr khan. brilliant.

zahid Feb 23, 2014 04:05pm

The stance taken by Imran Khan on Taliban isuue is absurd to say the least but the analogy of the WC final is utterly illogical. If you really want to compare the situations now and then, let's suppose it was the semifinal with NZ rather than the final. Now let's assume Wasim Akram, our main striker, was 40% fit and playing him in the semifinal would risk his availability in the final. Now if Imran Khan rests him for the sake of final would be an aggressive move. One may disagree such tactic but it is not absurd by any means and not cowardly to any stretch of imagination.

Uzair Khan Feb 23, 2014 04:29pm

@Sarah Yawar: by such a large you mean a couple of thousand in a nation of 180 million?

kahkashan Feb 23, 2014 04:59pm

Imran is a candle of hope in the 100% corrupt and selfish political sceniaro ..please stop disappointing us .

Rashid Feb 23, 2014 05:00pm

NFP u r a gem. But You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. In case of IK even worst he is a lost horse.

Nasiroski Feb 23, 2014 05:26pm

@Parvez: Woh Baat saray fasanaay mein jis ka zikr he na tha

Woh Baat un ko bohat nagawaar guzri hay

Happy Feb 23, 2014 05:49pm

Excellent article as always by NFP. Thank you for your excellent work and thank you Dawn for publishing the work of some great people like NFP.

jim Feb 23, 2014 05:54pm

I am surprised such short sighted people are left to provide such biased opinion on a national newspaper. Not sure who pays you to write these articles. Your biased mind is not willing to digest his travel to London; if you had family here and they had school holidays then I am sure you would want to meet them too. Stop interfering in someone

Fiz Feb 23, 2014 06:29pm

The last paragraph is brilliant. Very relevant. Just add to it " satianaas ho jai ga, baira gharaq ho jai ga." But that was Imran Khan when young and that is how he is 20 years down the line!

saleem Feb 23, 2014 06:36pm

@jim: "Let him do his job"? what? defending the butchers while educating his kids in "inglistan's madressahs?"

saleem Feb 23, 2014 06:41pm

get religiosity out of your lives and leaders would not be able to hide their failures behind it

TAM Feb 23, 2014 07:11pm


Fair enough and point taken.

However, my biggest gripe about him is that we all thought he would be bringing in a moderate and enlightened approach to a country that is rapidly striding towards a theocracy state since the 1970's - much against the Quaid's original dreams.

Unfortunately, he's done the opposite and we have lost our only hope. Not everyone wants to be pinned down with a particular religious strain and its identity for survival.

Now if you tell me that ain't ever gonna happen, we might as well pack up our bags and go elsewhere. I will never do that. My grandparents worked very hard for the creation of this country.

Kaghan Wala Feb 23, 2014 08:02pm

@Tariq K Sami: With all that you described about the Cricketer, he should be able to levitate. The Khan should have no trouble predicting future. Like the demise of PTI. His children are objects of ridicule and derision. They may contemplate name change to Smith, Jones. Maybe even Goldsmith.

GA Feb 23, 2014 08:35pm

Just because IK can lead a cricket team doesn't mean he can lead a nation especially a complex one like Pakistan. But his patriotism is without doubt.

SaeedS Feb 23, 2014 08:59pm

It is not only IK. It is mentality of every Pakistan ,accusing and blaming everyone and everybody. All they sit and spread hate. I like to mention , middle class in 70s have every opportunity ,affordable living and above of all free professional education.Thats only because landlords earn precious foreign exchange and politician run this system. But our educated middle class abused system . And now like IK they also blaming system and spreading hate .

Muhammad Feb 23, 2014 10:17pm

Can we please stop comparing crickets and politics? It's like mixing religion and politics, and it's annoying. Can we also promote other sports in Pakistan?

Wajahat Hussain Feb 23, 2014 10:22pm

@jim: Well said Jim! Thank you.

Tariq K Sami Feb 23, 2014 10:42pm

@Kaghan Wala: Can we please keep his children out of this (shame on you this is child abuse).

Adeel Feb 23, 2014 10:53pm

@jim: Rest of the things might be true but HE is definitely not leading the war on terror, by supporting TTP openly he is leading their war on people of Pakistan. And by doing so he has undone all the so called good work that you have mentioned. He should have guts to stand up against the TTP, condemned them and lead the nation out of present chaos and confusion created by traitors like JUI instead. We had hope in IK not in any of the corrupt lot of politicians we have.

I. Ahmed Feb 23, 2014 11:03pm

Good one NFP. Dichotomy of Pakistani politics: a cricketer who wants to be PM and a PM who would love to be cricketer!!!!

Jim Feb 23, 2014 11:19pm


I appreciate your comments and I agree with you. I am not trying to support his stance with Taliban btw. At the same time I can also see a lot other people can't accept reality. Imran will have to learn that supporting dialogue with these butchers is not what he should be doing. His inexperience is a problem. Today in Lahore he has clarified things a bit.

To be fair, we allowed this terrorism to develop. These areas never had any government writ , nor we tried to establish any. Always absconders from every corner of our country went to 'ilaqa ghair' to take refuge. We never went after them, never tried to establish our writ. Now it is hitting the fan, it was going to happen. We put our head in sand for long enough, the results are catastrophic as we can see.

One other point even if Imran thinks that we should negotiate with these butchers, there are more important people in government and the decision makers of Pakistan (Army) who will not act on his advice so we will go for most rational option anyway. This clearance of terrorism and hideouts for terrorists is long overdue and Army is doing the right thing.

Parvez Feb 23, 2014 11:31pm

Aahhhh ! there must have been some truth in my comment.......because its been removed.

Khalid Feb 23, 2014 11:37pm

We have proved time and again that we are a very impatient nation. Both Nawaz Sharif and Benazir became PM thrice and twice each respectively that is unheard of in any country - not because they were great leaders and each time they were removed sweets were distributed in main cities of Pakistan. Imran Khan once takes a decision is willing to give it a good try and will be patient. It may be Inzamam/waqar or mansoorul Haq. Resolving issues peacefully with Taliban will be great with no damages. The resolution with force even when successful is always violent and destructive and takes a long time to settle. These are very complex matter and requires our patience. Let us not be a pendulum. NFP our national psyche continues to be "if then was now" consistently -a pendulum.

ADNAN AFTAB Feb 24, 2014 01:16am

IK some inabilities have really effected his dizzy political instance . He should support for world war T . Apart from this, If he is making any decision at least he should first examine their negative and positive impacts. Way IK has initiated his politics is not adequate for future electoral.

amir Feb 24, 2014 02:17am

@Kaghan Wala: I do not support imrans political ideology however its disgraceful and unbecoming to drag his children.

SALIM Feb 24, 2014 02:40am

@jim: You misread NPF. He is a fantastic satirist not a mean spirited cynic. But then you probably never read Buchwald. S.C.

Nasiroski Feb 24, 2014 02:43am

@Parvez: Same here, I better not reply to Jim as my response to Tariq K Sami's brilliance was deemed inappropriate for the reasons unknown. IK is no different from ZABhutto or A Hussain or N Sharif lots of noise lots of promises delivering nothing. Feel sorry for those who keep faith in him but they are no different from the ones that had faith in the other leaders. Ther are no different from those either who keep faith in FazlurR. or Jammats leadership, No Delivery, no substance.

Asad Khan Feb 24, 2014 05:16am

Paracha, you have NS glasses on. Please take them off before you try to write anything about IK.

abdulaziz Feb 24, 2014 06:03am

Instead of Tibetan pandas, I thought Taliban pandas would have been more appropriate.

Muneer Feb 24, 2014 06:22am

@jim: He made the gravest mistake of picking side with Taliban... Here I quote Gen. Musharraf who categorically said, No militancy can take place without a financial support of another country. Just to feed these a militant group like Taliban you need 30 million rupees a month. Remember its just to feed them and their families. Where do you think they are getting this amount from. . . doing a day job??? forget about the guns and explosives, just to feed them they need 30 million...... Its so very basic, you do not need a rocket scientist to calculate that. You want a dialogue with them? they are on a payroll and working hard for the money they are being paid. Yet IK wants a dialogue... they are on the table for delaying the onslaught by our Army and wanted to regroup and re-organize. Any one who challenges the writ of the government should be dealt in the same fashion be it BLA TTP JaSQM or any other.... No Dialouge just an "Operation Rootout"

Riz Feb 24, 2014 06:23am

Hahaha, so true. Mr. Nadeem is a genius and this is one more great article from him. Bravo!

Ram Feb 24, 2014 07:43am

Nadeem Bhai democracy is a test cricket and Mr Khan is Lambi Dhaud Ka Ghoda Hai, in that context he is only playing first innings, so please have some patience as you mentioned he is an all rounder and he is yet to bowl and bat right now he is only fielding so wait and watch he is not going to go anywhere,

Nauman Feb 24, 2014 08:06am


Can he bring back international cricket teams playing in Pakistan again? For God's sake, let the Talebans and their buddies not control our love for sports, music and art among other social events.

I am not too optimistic though. The impression that I am getting even from the educated public is that they want to see the country run "Khomeni" style. It is a scary thought that a young country that enjoyed so much going its way in the 1960's has been so rapidly brainwashed and transformed to a duff parochial nation.

Akbar Feb 24, 2014 09:03am

NFP; The theory behind military oerations is " There are finite number of trouble makers and if we physically eliminate them then all can be reset to our likings" it is same theory based on which USA invaded Afghanistan in 2001, look it failed spectacularly and USA is leaving in 2014 with leaving behind more 'trouble makers' and chaos in Afghanistan.Now common sense tell us that if USA with all the big defence budgets, resources and military could not prove this theory right, how a punny Pakistan with hardly any resources to pay the salaries of its standing armies will be able to achieve a different result. Mind it the military operation is going to lead to a very protracted civil war that will finish off what is remaining of the Pakistan after 1971 fiasco. Obviously if enlightened and strong people like you are so fearful of "Religious fanatics" may be you look at your fears and see some of them may be unfounded or exaggerations.

Ahmed Ozaif Feb 24, 2014 09:04am

Every game has its own tactics, its own rules.

Kohistani Feb 24, 2014 09:14am

@amir: @Tariq k Sami Time to grow up. And face the very harsh and cruel world out there. His children are safe and sound in London. But very concerned about Papa's antics. Papa's apologist behavior, defending killers of innocent men, women and children. Making erratic statements about building nuclear plants at border, so both countries can share 50/50 labor. !2/14 year old teenager prevents suicide bomber from blowing school. Aitezaz. And no comment from Cricketer for 5 days. Nothing from K-P govt. at all. Papa even acquired a new name. Starts with a t....T Khan.

Tariq K Sami Feb 24, 2014 09:24am

@Khalid: You mean Mansoor Akhtar (who could never make it in Test Cricket inspite of having scored 224 in a first class cricket match).

kdspirited Feb 24, 2014 11:04am

Yes it is indeed not popular to say that we should negotiate instead of go to war with the Taliban. But Imran was never known to say things that were popular or least bit controversial. As a cricketer he brought Pakistan the glory it needed with guts and gusto and at the time also being criticized for the decisions he took. But the difference is he had a talented team that was willing to fight alongside him. He had an opposition that was not rigging the game to win at all odds. Also he took a stand and stuck to his guns. PTI is a well established political party today not because IK gave up but because he fought hard for it against all odds. He is still fighting to establish his credibility in a nation that is fickle to say the least. Today we have IK to beat up on because our short term memories have forgotten already where we have been the last five years with PPP, ANP and MQM in power. We have forgotten that even today we as nation refuse to fight for our rights and continue to blame others for our disparity. We are again willing to forgive and forget the sinners of the past e.g. Bhuttos and Zardaris because they now have a nara/slogan that we want to hear. The politician du jour is Bilawal Bhutto Zaradari. What a surprise!. Another feudal who rose to the occasion through nepotism. "Talban are bad we need war." Its easy to call out these naras when you are sitting thousands of miles away in other countries secure in the blankets of sovereign nations. But another matter when you are among the masses who are taking the bullets to their chests every day. This is neither an even playing field nor is it a nation willing to go to bat for anyone.

Debjit Feb 24, 2014 12:31pm

When Imran Khan win the world cup for us I was so proud of him.He literally change the country into a power house where we feel proud as Pakistani where we believe we can achieve anything we want we were part of a confident and visionary nation at that time but then think start changing gradually and some how we came to a part of time where every thing become dull and gloomy but when Imran enter politics I thought thats it no more gloomy and sad Pakistan we will be again a nation of braves we will change into a developed and prosperous country and then instead of changing the country Imran change himself he instead of fighting choose the path of cowardly compromises. His Taliban act was worst of all.I cant believe he just ignore the death of thousand of Pakistanis and stand on the side of Talibans.Nawaz Zardari with their timid attitudes towards Taliban I can understand but Imran u were better then that..NFP if u start ranking the chaotic heroes of Pakistan in future then Imran will be on the top of that list.

Salman Feb 24, 2014 12:38pm

Lovely and very thought provoking piece of writing! But will anyone listen? The sad thing is that PTI and Imran and company act like the "educated illiterates" who just can't stand an unfavourable opinion and try to shoot down, ultimately to their own detriment, any and all criticism as being agenda-driven. Perhaps all is not lost and maybe there's still time for Imran to stop misguiding his followers and being an apologist for extremists. But for that miracle to happen, for starters his consultants and advisors will have to start telling him what he should hear and not what he wants to hear. He needs to keep his ego aside and understand that his critics and political opponents don't have an axe to grind with him and just want him to show the leadership that is expected of a person who has a such a fan following as Mr. Khan does.

Danish Ali Bhutto Feb 24, 2014 01:00pm

Honestly, I do have all the similar concerns when I think of Mr. Khan. This "his speech" is exactly what has deterred me from following him any longer. It makes no sense whatsoever, lacks elegance and sobriety, everything which formerly earned him all respect and a grand following.

Saira Feb 24, 2014 01:32pm

@Tariq K Sami: I could not agree more! BRAVO

Salman Feb 24, 2014 02:20pm

Great but where did my comment go? :( All I was trying to say was that if politicians and/or their advisors tried to heed some excellent Op-Eds and thought-provoking satires like this one, perhaps they would have been better able the gauge what needs to be done and consequently demonstrate better leadership than they presently do. Unfortunately, some of those people in power have a propensity to haughtily dismiss any and all opinion that doesn't conform with their parochial worldview as being biased or worse. Consequently, self-improvement and evolution of a "leader" like Khan doesn't happen. And some of those people end up misguiding impressionable fans who look upon them as their only "hope."

Ali Feb 24, 2014 10:35pm

Paracha you seem too obsessed with IK. I fail to understand the nexus btw his cricket and politics- two totally different domains. Its true he was a better cricketer than a politician but to draw parallels between two separate fields clearly reflects you personally dislike him overall. Do sportsmen lead their lives in same way as they play?

SHAHID LATIF Feb 25, 2014 05:50am

A truly tasteless piece.

aflatoon Feb 25, 2014 09:46am

Well thats the difference in cricket and Politics. Being a good cricketer does not necessarily means a good politician. In politics, one have to be cunning and fox minded and valor and straightforwardness are not plus points for a politician,

saira Feb 25, 2014 11:42am

@kahkashan: Maybe your hope was misplaced in the first place.

sja Feb 25, 2014 11:43am

Title is very interesting---- if then was now---- obviously then "now" would be "THEN" NFP, and then you would write something like then is then, now is now and we have to face it..

A Kureshi Feb 25, 2014 04:15pm

a big NFP fan but again i must say that the only thing preventing him from being good ( or rather very good ) to great is that his articles although very amusing and thought provoking are biased and hence not balanced. IK/PTI has a very clear stance i.e. negotiate with the so called TTP umbrella groups for a peaceful settlement under the constitution and if it is not working then do a targeted military operation against the ones who are causing trouble . This carrot and stick policy is the way forward. Ofcorse it can be argued and debated that this is not correct policy but the way our media is bashing IK/PTI and KPK gov is absolutely ridiculous. What needs to be done is that PM should invite all political parties and they should agree on a common stance and totally back the army for military operation ( if this is the plan ). Majority of people questioning the patriotism and sincerity of IK and PTI are politically motivated and busy in point scoring rather then constructive criticism. It seems that the baby bhutto is being prepared as our next leader and his profile is being prepared by his rhetoric speeches One thinks that how can we just completely forget the last 3 Gov of PPP and there tales of corruption and ill governance. Alas...

Yeh dess hai andhe logoun ka aye chand yahan na nikla ker

At the end of the day all of us want peace in our beloved country. Best of luck pakistan, IK and PTI.

Tariq, Lahore Feb 26, 2014 11:25pm

NFP. This article lacks your usual flair and piazzas!