Just weeks after the inquiry commission, a judicial probe into allegations of rigging in the May 2013 elections, rejected the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s stance that polls were fraudulent, Imran Khan’s Reham told an Australian television show that in a country where life was fair and there was justice, the PTI chief would have been prime minister long ago.
Speaking on 60 minutes, aired on Sunday, the PTI chief’s wife Reham, while sitting next to a beaming Imran, told the show’s host that “if life was fair… if there was justice in Pakistan, Imran would have been prime minister a long time ago.”
Second biggest target in Pakistan wants political solution to Taliban
Imran claimed during the interview that he was the second biggest political target in the country.
“Well, the interior ministry brought out a statement that the prime minister and I were the top-two targets,” said the PTI chief.
Read: PTI not involved in rigging, ready for re-elections: Imran Khan
The programme went on to show how there was tough security for every time Imran ventured into public and that how when his plane takes off from Peshawar airport, which has come under repeated attacks, it does so in the cover of darkness with no lights on.
Asked that why does he laugh off the threat to his life, Imran says “somehow we have this false sense of security that we will live forever, (but) every one has to die.”
Questioned why does he want to negotiate with the Taliban, a militant group which has taken responsibility for attacks on Peshawar airport and a slew of other attacks and presents the primary threat to his life and the PTI-led Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Imran reiterated his oft repeated stance that the problem stems primarily from Pakistan participating in America’s war in Afghanistan.
“There was only ever one way to deal with it and that was a political solution.”
Read: People want Imran Khan to be the next PM, says Sarwar
Asked whether it was “worth dying for a change?”
Imran says with a sad, yet hopeful stance, “Yes, you are dying anyway. You do not let the fear of death come in the way of what you believe as your mission in life.”
Imran blasts Australia’s immigration policy
Asked about the recent policy instituted by Australia to turn back immigrants, including some from Pakistan, Imran lashed out at the policy.
“Australia has so much land. I mean they are well-off people. These [migrants] are desperate people and if they want to go to these lands, remember, these are desperate people, they also end up having the greatest drive to contribute to society.”
Asked whether he felt the policy of ‘turn back’ was inhumane, the PTI chief answered in affirmative. “I feel this policy is inhumane.”
Crowds that I had never seen before
During the interview, Imran was asked how he had commented 20 years ago on the same programme that politics was not for him, but now was gunning for the top political seat in the country, the leader of the highest vote garnering party said that he saw that he could make a difference.
“I realised after a while that someone like me who is blessed with everything, who has everything ... should I just spend the rest of my life living off the cricket and having a very easy life or should I try and make a difference?” Imran said matter-of-factly.
The former Pakistan cricket team captain went on to add that while he had seen big crowds who came out to see him play, the crowds that gathered now were beyond what he had ever seen.
“When I was playing cricket, there were crowds. But the crowds now, because of politics, they are way beyond anything I had experienced.”
Marriage to Reham
Commenting on their personal life, Reham also revealed that she liked the direct approach opted by Imran in asking her to marry him.
She said that if Imran had gone to his knees pleading him to marry him, she may not have responded positively.
“It was very a sudden decision,” Imran tried to explain.
Reham also shed light on her being scrutinized minutely after being thrust into the spotlight owing to her marriage. She says that she doesn’t take it personally but it infuriates her that people attack her and their personal life.
Imran answers the question with a tinge of aggression in his voice, “In our society your families are not attacked if you are a politician. They did it to me because I attacked their corruption and they cannot attack me back on that. So they target my personal life.”
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