The once celebrated cricketer, Imran Khan, remains most vividly in public memory as the captain who lead the Pakistan team to victory at the 1992 Cricket World Cup. Today, Imran Khan is the Prime Minister of Pakistan and chairman of PTI -the PakistanTehreek-e-Insaf Party. Now a politician, the cricket legend has come a long way from sports to politics. Yet, throughout this extraordinary journey his driving force has remained the same: a desire for social justice and equality.
Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital (SKMCH) was the first step and milestone. It became a testament to Imran’s resolve and a national achievement that he is proud to have spearheaded. It remains at the forefront of Imran Khan’s ongoing philanthropic works.
Imran Khan’s Personal Life
Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi was born on October 5th (1952). One of five siblings, he was the youngest and only son of Ikramullah Khan Niazi and Shaukat Khanum.
Hailing from a family of proficient cricketers, and one Sufi Warrior Poet for an ancestor, Shaukat Khanum was a woman who was proud of her heritage. Hers was a pride she instilled in her children, along with an iron resolve. In February 1985, after a long and agonizing struggle, Shaukat Khanum’s family lost her to cancer. She was 63 years old.
Little did Imran know that the most painful event of his life would pave the way for a hospital that continues to provide hope for millions. Today, the cricket legend and Prime Minister of Pakistan is also the founding chairman of Imran Khan Cancer Appeal and Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital.
Imran Khan the Cricketer
Though today he’s a politician, Imran Khan, remains most vividly in public memory as a cricketer and the captain who lead the Pakistan team to victory at the 1992 Cricket World Cup.
There were many distinguished cricketers in Imran Khan’s family, with two of his cousins, Javed Burki and Majid Khan, serving as captains of the Pakistan National Team. Imran spent much of his youth playing cricket in Pakistan and England, and continued to play while studying at the University of Oxford. After graduating in 1976, Imran Khan became a cricketer full-time and took his permanent place on the Pakistan National team. He distinguished himself as an exceptional bowler and all-rounder throughout the 1980s. He was named captain of the Pakistan National team in 1982, and went on to achieve his greatest athletic success in 1992 when he led his team to its first world cup title, defeating England in the final.
On November 10 1989, at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium, Imran Khan made his first fundraising appeal during a cricket match between India and Pakistan. It helped get the ball rolling for a series of further fundraisers that went global. The idea of a hospital providing free cancer care was laughable to most but Imran wasn’t discouraged. Two years later, Pakistan’s win under his captaincy at the 1992 Cricket World Cup in Melbourne gave the appeal that boost it needed. The response was phenomenal, with £1.5 million collected in just six weeks. Imran Khan donated the entire sum of his own prize money to the project and continued to campaign until construction for the hospital was underway.
Imran Khan the Philanthropist
From the get go, Imran Khan was personally involved in the global fundraising appeal for Imran Khan Cancer Appeal. He is just as involved today in ongoing appeals and awareness raising campaigns. Annually, Shaukat Khanum Hospital treats 75% of its cancer patients free of charge. Its staff and doctors do not discriminate between paying and non-paying patients.
“When I first started raising funds for the hospital in 1989, experts and critics were of the opinion that providing free treatment in a cancer hospital was not feasible in any part of the world. But [I believed that] in an Islamic country this does not hold true. Through the Islamic concept of Zakat, [we’ve shown how] indigent cancer patients can be supported.” -Imran Khan
Imran Khan the Politician
Imran Khan is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Pakistan and the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
Despite an initial reluctance, Imran Khan was propelled to become a politician out of a desire to tackle corruption in Pakistan. Faced with the conclusion that to change society for the better, he would have to become politically active, Imran established his own party PTI or Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf -meaning ‘Movement for Justice’. As a politician, Imran continues to defend social justice and equality, as well as the importance of preserving cultural values.
Imran Khan became Prime Minister of Pakistan on the 18th of August 2018 at the he Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad. For the latest news on Imran Khan’s PTI, as well as info on his political views, you can visit the PTI official website Here.
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