Feature

Pakistan: Charismatic and tough on America

At a rally in Lahore, Khan drew some 75,000 cheering supporters to listen to him rail against the “decadent, corrupt, and sucking-up-to-America ways of Pakistan politicians,” said Sanjeev Srivastava at Firstpost.com.

Sanjeev Srivastava
Firstpost.com (India)

Pakistan’s new political star is bad news for the U.S., said Sanjeev Srivastava. The “glamorous and charismatic” cricket champion turned social activist Imran Khan was long dismissed as a political loser, having never managed to get elected to national office despite several runs. His party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), founded in 1996 on an anti-corruption platform, doesn’t have a single seat in parliament. Yet his moment seems to have finally come.

At a rally in Lahore last month, Khan drew some 75,000 cheering supporters to listen to him rail against the “decadent, corrupt, and sucking-up-to-America ways of Pakistan politicians.” After a snide reference to the U.S. secretary of state as “Chachi Clinton,” or Auntie Clinton, he demanded an end to U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani territory, saying that the Taliban is not Pakistan’s enemy.

Still, despite his anti-Americanism, Khan is no religious conservative. He has defended women’s rights and was one of the few to stand up against the assassination of a politician who campaigned to repeal the law mandating capital punishment for blasphemy. Khan is “treading the middle path between the fundamentalists and the liberal secularists”—and that could well be a “winning electoral combination.”

Recommended

McDonald's announces total withdrawal from Russia
Russian McDonald's
Mc-bye!

McDonald's announces total withdrawal from Russia

U.S. updates foreign terrorism blacklist, removing 5 extremist groups
A wall painted with portraits of prisoners of the Basque separatist armed group ETA, in the small village of Hernani, northern Spain, on May 2, 2018.
Terror watch

U.S. updates foreign terrorism blacklist, removing 5 extremist groups

Russia's failed Ukraine river crossing has pro-Russia war bloggers griping
Failed Russian river crossing
Losing faith

Russia's failed Ukraine river crossing has pro-Russia war bloggers griping

Sweden joins Finland in signaling imminent NATO membership bid
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson
'a new era begins'

Sweden joins Finland in signaling imminent NATO membership bid

Most Popular

Russia's failed Ukraine river crossing has pro-Russia war bloggers griping
Failed Russian river crossing
Losing faith

Russia's failed Ukraine river crossing has pro-Russia war bloggers griping

Why 'the Russian army just isn't very good'
Vladimir Putin.
Briefing

Why 'the Russian army just isn't very good'

The trouble with running against the 'MAGA King'
Donald Trump.
Samuel Goldman

The trouble with running against the 'MAGA King'