Imran Khan Javed Miandad Pakistan elections PTI
Imran Khan (left) with Javed Miandad © AFP

Two days before Pakistan’s elections, on July 25, Javed Miandad voiced his support for Imran Khan as Pakistan’s next Prime Minister. Imran is a candidate for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). In an exclusive chat with India Today, Miandad said: ”He is the best candidate for the post of Prime Minister right now. I can guarantee, nobody can match him. Others have been tried and tested before. It is Imran’s time now. Awaam [public] will be too foolish to ignore him.”

Miandad and Imran had not been in the best of terms during their playing days. Imran had, in the opinion of many, played a crucial role in the end of Miandad’s tenure as Pakistan captain, in 1982. However, with time the relationship between the two improved. Miandad played a pivotal role in Pakistan winning their only World Cup, in 1992, under Imran. They had also played together for Sussex.

Miandad was not the only former Pakistan captain to voice his support for Imran. Wasim Akram has done the same…

… as has Waqar Younis.

 

“People are now talking about him but he has been working so hard for the last 15-20 years. He should win now. I have full confidence that he will do great work for Pakistan. Everyone knows how he won the World Cup in 1992 but apart from cricket, his biggest achievement is the cancer hospital that he has built. I was with him when we were doing the fundraising to build the hospital. From dawn to dusk, from the mosques to the markets, he went door-to-door asking for funds. Now the entire country has benefitted from the world class facility and he is building another one in Karachi. People don’t forget this good work,” said Miandad.

“Nobody knows him better than I do. I have been with him since we played against each other in 1974. Not just for Pakistan, we played together for Sussex in County cricket too. The biggest plus with him is not just his leadership qualities but also education. He studied at the Oxford and is such a knowledgeable man.

“He is a changed person now. He is different from what he was earlier. Had he been selfish, he could have continued with anything else apart from politics. Pakistan needs fresh blood in its leadership and there is nobody as honest as Imran right now. People like him and Edhi Sahab (Abdul Sattar Edhi) have always thought for the betterment of the nation. I am praying for his win and also that he lives up to the expectations of public after that.”

Miandad also insisted on the resumption of India-Pakistan cricket: “Just remember what had happened when we played at the Eden Gardens during the World T20 tournament. Nearly a lakh turned up at the stadium in Kolkata to watch both the teams play. We as neighbours can never be separated. We are just divided by a line, on one side is Pakistan and on the other India. People from both the countries want peace and better relations. We should look after each other and become a strong block. But, as it is said, you need two hands to clap. Aap bade log ho with such a huge population, you should take the initiative in resuming the cricketing ties. Inshallah, things might move in the right direction after Imran becoming the PM.”