Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


I grew up hating India: Imran Khan

Published Nov 14, 2011 10:20am


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

I have no prejudice against any country, and more specifically, India: Imran Khan.—AFP photo

Former Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan said his views and misconceptions about India changed after he visited the neighbouring country to play cricket, Indian media reported.

In an interview with CNN-IBN, Khan said  that he grew up “hating India” due to the bloodshed and violence associated with the partition.

“I grew up hating India because I grew up in Lahore and there were massacres of 1947, so much bloodshed and anger. But as I started touring India, I got such love and friendship there that all this disappeared,” Khan said.

“As time passed, I realised that there's so much we have in common. We have a similar history, there's so much in culture that's so similar compared to Western countries. Above all, there is so much the people of two countries (can) benefit from if we have a civilised relationship,” he added.

Talking about his policy related to the future relationship of the two countries, Khan said if his party Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) came to power in the next general election, he would do his utmost to improve relations between the two countries.

“I can give my best shot. I can fight to the last ball. We can only try. Success is sometimes not in our hands, it is in hands of the Almighty. So I can say that I will give it my best shot,” he said.

The PTI chairman said he prayed to god to allow him to work for better India-Pakistan relations “because I, for one, have received so much love in India”.

Khan said: “Absolutely, I have no prejudice against any country, and more specifically, India.”

Referring to Indian cricket team's tour of Pakistan in 2005-06, Imran said: “Id never seen two countries as close as that. So its very sad that Mumbai happens (and) we were back to square one”.

Comments (55) Closed

Airport Taxi Nov 14, 2011 05:17pm
Khan has been changed.Agree with khan that we much of similarities between India and Pakistan.We should forget conflicts and fight against terrorism.
Ashok Pandey Nov 14, 2011 05:25pm
Good.Such thoughts and statements will defeat the right wings on both the sides.
anmol Nov 14, 2011 05:34pm
P S Bhatti Nov 14, 2011 05:57pm
Must appreciate his frankness.In fact the the whole generation after partition on both side of the border have been fed with distorted historical facts which have poisoned our minds.The actual beneficiaries of this situation are the suppliers of armaments and those involved in the decision making process to acquire them. Lets hope the non traditional political leaders emerge stronger on both sides who are more interested in upgrading the standard of living of the common person. Why cant we have SARC on the model of EU.They also have a long history of wars among themselves. What is stopping us to be CIVILIZED ?
Anam Nov 14, 2011 06:00pm
He is always good and be, he always gives positive energy around, May he can resolve all the harshness among both countries as both are the loving countries with awesome culture in whole world.
raja jaria Nov 14, 2011 06:37pm
Will the army give him a free hand?
Vairamuthu (Coimbato Nov 14, 2011 06:39pm
In a cricketing perspective, I regard Imran as one of most respected persons.
Enter your name... Nov 14, 2011 06:41pm
Khan shb is only hope in pakistan, but dont allow corrupt politicians to join P T I.
Sohail Mahmood Nov 14, 2011 06:52pm
Sir, Headline you derived gives birth to misconception. Better headline would be, " Imran admits once,he used to hate India"
Rafeh Nov 14, 2011 07:55pm
I can only hope that his party wins the election next year. I wish everyone in Pakistan and India can be this tolerant. I wish Citizens of both countries can show genuine love and respect for each other. I wish the polictician leave their nasty political agenda out of people lives..I wish ..I wish..
Tariq Nov 14, 2011 08:16pm
These two countries, India and Pakistan, must unite for PEACE and Prosperity of the their respective people, and must do their utmost to cooperate for the stability of the region to bring about an economic boom. That is the one and only way. And I am pleased to see that Imran Khan appears to aware of this fact!
Enter your name...ta Nov 14, 2011 08:34pm
Don't forget the Kashmir fact , we cannt be so peaceful without solving it,we are suffering friends.
A Shah Nov 14, 2011 09:19pm
Indians grew up loving you. Not for your political views or or hatred but for your skillful art with the bat - learn to accept people for who they are not what they are!
Mir G Nov 14, 2011 09:38pm
subcontinent is one home but we are divided by some known and unknown faces due to our ignorance and poverty.
Raheel Nov 14, 2011 10:49pm
I think Imran can change the history. I wish him all the best to give his best shot.
Truth Nov 14, 2011 11:05pm
In Pakistani society, anyone who speaks truth and talks about peace is destined to be antinational, antireligion and someone working against the interests of clerics and the army.
Rikshaw wala Nov 14, 2011 11:12pm
Madan Nov 14, 2011 11:17pm
Wonderful thoughts if translated into actions.Whatever shape the Pakistan Govt presents,it should nip the evil of terrorism in the bud.People in both countries want to restore the glories of the prepartition days and want friendship without interruption.
Anshu Jayaswal Nov 14, 2011 11:45pm
I am elated to see the comments from all. Yes...why cannot we live in peace and harmony? No one wants pain...we need well being.
prakash paranjape Nov 15, 2011 12:27am
ImranKhan is absolutely right .Every year if ten persent defence budget is reduced and diverted for the upliftment of below povertyline people of both the countries ,within next five years there will not be a poor man in Pakistan and no poor man in India within next ten years.
p.joseph Nov 15, 2011 01:16am
This is the most honest and candid admission from any person I have ever known from Pakistan and I have interacted with many during my nearly 25 years in Dubai. I would like to laud Imran for this and hope that he can do something if he gets the mandate of the people. Most people from both sides have almost given up on peace and this gives me hope.
Agha Ata Nov 15, 2011 01:18am
I hope his best shot would be unprecedented flexibility in Kashmir policy. Nothing else is going to work.
kashif ateeq Nov 15, 2011 01:29am
long shot, it wont happen as the army of both countries would starve without india pakistan threath
Radhika Nov 15, 2011 01:30am
Indians can trust Pakistan but not china.
Nimesh (Fremont, CA) Nov 15, 2011 01:30am
He may have hated India, but as a Indian I for one find Khan to be one of the best cricketer the world has ever seen.
Imtiaz Faruqui Nov 15, 2011 02:12am
Imran Khan should get a chance to be the Head of State and people are hopeful, he will bring a positive change. India is a symbol of progress we can learn from it. Also we could have learnt a lot from China who is our friend for many years ,but alas we learnt nothing it was bad politics or because we were pro-Americans.
ramesh Nov 15, 2011 02:23am
IK is the only the best deserving as PM of PAK compared to routine PAK politicians. He is a really big hope for young -moderate PAK generation who wants to see PAK like INDIA in terms of developments and international image.
faisal sharjah Nov 15, 2011 03:17am
we need a such brave leader may ALLAH bless u
Omar Nov 15, 2011 04:42am
I totally agree with Khan sb. since all we know about India is what they did to us at the time of partition and all the wars. We need to see beyond what has been told to us by our biased educational system. Both people suffered at the time of partition and it’s not that the Indians are on fault and we all are victims (black sheep was on the both sides). Let’s start working having better relations with our neighbors (especially India and AFG) and get ourselves out of this war on terror which is only killing our people. I also agree with the above comment of Bhatti sb. that we should have more strong bonding like EU (can be AU or whatever you wana called it) since not so long ago, those European countries were fighting like anything and now living in peace. Regards, Omar
Hasan Ansari Nov 15, 2011 04:51am
We should try and defeat the radicals and the conservatives on both sides of the border and try to improve the relationship between the two countries. I want to party in Delhi and then drive back to Lahore over the weekend. Please change the visa policies :)
awais Nov 15, 2011 05:15am
Urooj Khan Nov 15, 2011 05:30am
I just would like to say everyone in Pakistan to pray for Imran's Safety, I do in my every prayer. Support him, help him and do anything in your power to get him in Office. This is the only chance and only hope for all of us. He would do good Insallah.
F Khan Nov 15, 2011 06:15am
All this coming from a good looking jamati....surprising and interesting.
ps Nov 15, 2011 08:19am
another politician speaking... just keep listening
Muralidhar Gandhi Nov 15, 2011 08:23am
We i.e. India and Pakistan is yesterday Hindustan . So We have same history . In India Muslim community near about 25 cr i.e. larger than Pakistan population . If we fail understand each other then think of our next coming generation.......... Ram & Rahim is always one We pray only one god then why we hate each other Allah and Om is always once . We pray in morning and you also to pray in morning then what is difference in India and Pakistan. The difference is because of bad man called politicians..
hassan2bCSP Nov 15, 2011 09:10am
I agree.
Gopal Patel Nov 15, 2011 09:23am
Khan is not entirely correct. We are actually same people with same history, culture, and same social prejudices. We also loved our sufi saints and respected their teachings with equal reverence.
DK Nov 15, 2011 09:39am
We do appreciate his honesty and do agree that we have so much in common but so many bitter moments that keep us away. The current generation in India would feel the same pain and frustration as Imran during his childhood, due to horror of Mumbai unfolding infront of our eyes on national television. Hundreds of young Indian soldiers giving their unfulfilled lives in Kargil war left so much bitter taste asking the same question again and again! Does Pakistan deserve a second chance after these two horrors in last decade? History is full of similar incidents over last 50 years and I really can't blame my fellow country men if they think twice before trusting Pakistan.
athar Nov 15, 2011 09:39am
Not only Imran a majority of pakistanis are grown up in this way and thats the reason that Pakistan could not progress & on the other hand India keep on progressing. In general Pakistanis are narrow minded and specifically when it comes to India case & the reason for this that they are not exposed to world & partly lack of education.
22hindustani@gmail.c Nov 15, 2011 09:44am
Agree with Khan. But in Lahore, it was Hindus community who face killing of their brothers. I could no understand why Khan was upset. If this was the reason to get hate India feeling in childhood then he should take every opportunity to save his country. Let other minority of Pakistan including Hindus live safe. Why after independence Hindus and Sikhs are killed or converted to Islam. He should be regretful and shameful about this happening in Pakistan. As a true devotee of the motherland, he should stand clear and speech loud against all such elements including jehadi elements like Hafeesh Saeed.
Sohail Nazir Nov 15, 2011 11:23am
I concur with Imran , self is working in Dubai and majority of colleauges are from India and been to India on ship as a seamen , never experienced any problem. The police , Custom were very cooperative . Two countries if signe no war pact and assist each other in various industries , definately Pakistan & India can rule the world . Poverty can finish, as defence budget wil be reduced to minimum .
Kranti Nov 15, 2011 11:29am
Great Imran!!!! You've realised your mistake and accepted it... India is never a threat to Pakistan until they do a mistake...
Uza Syed Nov 15, 2011 12:06pm
Too much of populism! Sure, having good relations with India is one of the best thing that could happen to us. There are many many Pakistanis with this view since Pakistan came into existence, so, what's new here? This reality dawned upon the Confused Khan also a while back----he didn't play cricket yesterday! Then why didn't he speak up then---come on, Khan you tend to believe that everyone everywhere is just gullible as the ignorant bunch which calls itself your 'fanclub'. In politics one needs political workers not 'fans'.
syam Nov 15, 2011 12:08pm
God bless you all. Indians love you guys. We always wish Pakistan should grow economically and flourish with good health and wealth, to grow their families with cheers in their face. Love you guys
amar Nov 15, 2011 12:17pm
he is very open and sincere and that's why many don't like him. but it's time that all are sincere..
zak Nov 15, 2011 12:35pm
He has noble thoughts but he should also outline his plans for Kashmir and how he intends to alleviate their suffering and oppression under 700,000 Indian troops and also of the innocent Pakistani's who visit India, are poor, are put in jail many are tortured and killed- so far 3 Pakistanis died in Indian jails while not one Indian died in pakistani jail. As he mentioned times have changed and culture, history is all past ballyhoo, lets get on with issues at hand and see if they are resolved fairly then that shows intent from India-not bullshit talk as usual. India is another poor country and needs to stop playing games it cannot afford and make peace with Pakistan-Then Pakistan could help India win favour with China the rising sun of this century.
Eng. Sohail Malik Nov 15, 2011 12:35pm
rightly said, both the countries should realize now that hate can never be productive rather it give birth to multiplied problems....
Mustafa Razavi Nov 15, 2011 12:37pm
Emulate China, Turkey and Iran. Be true to your morals and principles. Within our principles we want peaces and friendship with all, outside these principles we don't want anybody's friendship. To paraphrase an American historic figure: If you sacrifice a little bit of morals for a little bit of friendship, in the end you would loose both and deserve neither. Batil dui pasand hai Haq La-Shareek hai Shirkat miana Haq-o-Batil na kar qabool.
Awaz Nov 15, 2011 12:59pm
Imran is hope of new generation, we believe he will not forget the purpose for * Pakistan's existence* while embracing friendship.
Ijaz Nov 15, 2011 01:48pm
So, Mr. Khan, at last (this interview judged together with some moves and comments in domestic politics,), you have decided to be a "Politician" in "Content" as well, that's good. Now you can be expected to be a "Fruitful" addition to Pakistani Politics. Bravo - if you keep it up I may also vote for you these elections.
krishnan Nov 15, 2011 03:41pm
some people are just not committed to peace even when others want it.....
Raj Nov 15, 2011 04:52pm
Hope your dream comes true someday. The sooner the better.
brazenkitto Nov 15, 2011 10:06pm
i fully agree with you ...but pakistan has to be a complete 100 % democracy first . under no military rule this can happen ever and military would never allow this happen...if things are good and peaceful ...then military goes must to barracks , which we can dream only in pakistan .....just think again.....
yasmin khan Nov 16, 2011 10:31am
Imraan is a great leader. He is the only person can bring change in pakistan. I love you Imraan khan.
Akash Nov 27, 2011 10:37am
Working together can be great. But Pakistan needs to learn that people in Pakistan are more like Indians. They need to see the opportunity to sell there product to Indians currently it is 1.25 billion. Look at where they have been in 20 years after opening there economy. So what I am telling here is sell it them for your prosperous future. Below is the link with the fact.