Imran Khan: surging in popularity, but winning power involves unsavoury compromises
“Oh God, he’s chewing gum,” a party operative whispers. “That’s not good.” We’re squatting barefoot in a mosque in rural Punjab, craning over a sea of heads as local dignitaries make speeches. In the centre, settled on cushions flanked by party officials, sits Imran Khan: freshly showered, wearing an impeccable shalwar kameez and a look of concentration. The only oversight is the gum.
For 15 years, Pakistan’s greatest living sporting legend languished on the sidelines of Pakistani politics: his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), holds just one seat in parliament,…
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