By Rafiq Jan
On 25th July, Pakistanis give back to Jinnah, the fruit of his dreams and proved to the naysayers that they are a nation brave enough to give surprises and create wonders. Imran khan the “Prime Minister elect”, with unflinching faith, rewrites the definition of leadership in Pakistani politics.
He has managed to successfully lead form front in turbulence, and from behind, to come on top in these elections. He has steered the ship towards the end of a tunnel where only he could see a ray of light, and others could not.
Pakistani nation, through their votes, engendered their commitment to Jinnah and Iqbal and their version of Pakistan. Pakistanis broke the jinx of skepticism and disdain that the world had about them. They were slow and down, but not out and unsteady. They showed the world that they have the potential that can create a tsunami of hope.
Imran Khan won the cricket world cup 28 years ago for his nation while leading an underdog team. That impossible victory proved his mettle as an eccentrically dedicated and tough leader. The World cup victory was an underpinning for his unstoppable march towards multiple victories in life.
Now Pakistan hopes that his legacy will be long-lasting. A legacy that could, in future, be compared with the likes of great leaders in world history. He already shares characteristics of all great leaders of the past, who practiced from the early age the discipline to stay focused and sustain that determination to succeed. I am sure he couldn’t sleep at the wee hours of his victory day, just like Abraham Lincoln stayed up all night on his winning day.
His body language during his victory speech was filled with awe and charisma. He showed humility and confidence, and a clear indication of feeling of responsibility on his shoulders. He discerned the eloquence and power of the language in relation to a worthy cause. The most meaningful part of his speech was in what he didn’t say but expressed through his unspoken words. I saw in him a great leader using his elegance to sway a multitude of listeners. The true power of his speech was not the spoken words but the grace that his personality showed.
He is among those few leaders who blazed into fame at an early age. He also had his share of ups and downs in his life. He grew with time to comport himself with greater dignity and forbearance. So, the setbacks in his life were the important ingredients of his wisdom, resilience and empathy. He demonstrated the ability to simultaneously lead on many fronts against many obstacles.
Historians and biographers will remember several of his strengths that played a major role in shaping his personality, however, the most significant of all those traits was his determination to “simply keep going “, even in midst of adversity. That determination and adherence wasn’t the result of stubbornness or self-righteousness, rather it was the care that he exercised in making his choices.
Imran khan has something to offer to each one of us, as we try to craft lives of purpose, dignity and impact. If an ordinary person like me feels so elated and emotionally uplifted since his victory, I can hope millions of Pakistanis must also be brimming with hope and will be restless to join his cohort.
Imran is aware and prepared for the tough challenges ahead, when he takes the reins of the country that is beset with a battered economy, terrorism, religious fundamentalism and, most importantly, tensions with western allies. He has the ability and sincere desire to surmount all those obstacles with pride. He has already shown that whatever he believes in, he goes an extra mile and stays determined to achieve the end goal.
The well-deserved jubilation and celebrations across the country indicate that Pakistanis have finally found a leader who, with his deep personal humility and intense professional will, can rekindle the 1992 cricket world cup moments again for his people. However, this time around, he has to lead the country, and not a cricket team, from the front.
Imran Khan brought smiles to the faces of all those Pakistanis who revered him for decades as their hero. He has rescued the ship from the deluge to captain it for sailing the seas again with a big winning smile through the election results on the 25th of July 2018. His big smile clearly epitomized the following saying that “he laughs best who laughs last”
Rafiq Jan, Qatar