Imran Khan, former cricketer turned politician, kicked off his book tour in Leicester last month (September 17, 2011).
Imran Khan’s Pakistan: A Personal History takes a closer look at the country’s history and its politics. Khan said he wrote the book to tell the world about the two things he knows and loves, Pakistan and Islam.
“I felt that people knew nothing about Pakistan but that it is considered to be one of the most dangerous places on Earth.” He also wanted to challenge the misconceptions of Islam, after 9/11 the world has seen a stronger tenuous link between terrorism and Islam. “Post 9/11 every muslim became a suspect.” He said, “I wanted to share with others, what is Islam, not from a scholars point of view, but from personal experience.”
Khan talked at length about his vision for a new Pakistan for which he sees a great future. One of two troubled nations created in the name of religion (the other being Israel), Pakistan has never had a democracy and its political system reeks of corruption, he said. “For too long, Pakistan has been destroyed by people who don’t need politics…and its main problem has been institutional collapse.” Despite this, Khan hopes to change this with vision and integrity. “To have the ability to inspire, you need ideology.” And as far as literary inspirations go, Khan cites the poet, Iqbal as his greatest inspiration, dedicating an entire chapter in his book to his thinking.
And in the same vain, Khan ended his talk with a special dedication, to his sons, and all of the young people of Pakistan, “for the future is very much in their hands.”