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Archive for May 2011

Imran Khan: The Influential Hero of Pakistani Youth

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“Imran Khan is indisputably the greatest cricketer to emerge from Pakistan … He took a mediocre side and transformed them into world-beaters, leading them to the World Cup title in 1992” ESPN Cricinfo

Imran Khan was born in Lahore, Pakistan, and educated there, where he proved to be a fine cricketer and made his first-class test debut for Lahore at the age of sixteen. Imran was selected for the Pakistan cricket team in 1970, where he soon made a permanent place for himself. During the Seventies, Imran became a world-class all-rounder and was rewarded with the captaincy of the Pakistani cricket team in 1981. He was declared international cricketer of the year in 1989-90 and led Pakistan to numerous victories all over the world. Imran Khan once said to his team before playing the match, “I would like my team to play like a cornered tiger, when it is at its most dangerous”. And Pakistan did play like one and brought back 1992 Cricket World Cup with pride.

In his world cup winning speech he said, “I am proud that in the twilight of my career I finally managed to win a World Cup” & “Winning this world cup I am sure will go a long way in helping complete one of my obsessions which is to build a cancer hospital”

This is then what he did; in order to fulfil his obsession he went out to every street, every corner, every college and school; not only of Pakistan but around the world. I still remember Imran Khan came to my school and kids were lined to shake hand with him. At last in on 29 December 1994, just within 2 years of historic win he was able to cut the read ribbon of “Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre” named after his deceased mother who died of cancer. From cricketing hero, Imran Khan has turned into most loved social worker.

But this was not the end of his achievements; this was not enough to fulfil his dream of successful and Prosperous Pakistan. During this struggle he joined the feild of politics and started Movement of Justice, famously known as “Tahreek-e-Insaaf”. His struggle for justice came to lime light when he with his party marched on street of Pakistan for freedom of Justice; and was eventually successful in 2007.

His political business didn’t hinder with his obsession of social working; and he put another marvel by the name of “Namal College” in remote area of Mianwali in Pakistan. Thus providing highest standards of education to needy without greed.

In 1992, Khan was given Pakistan’s civil award, the “Hilal-i-Imtiaz”. He had received the “President’s Pride of Performance Award” in 1983. Khan is featured in the University of Oxford’s Hall of Fame and has been an honorary fellow of Oxford’s Keble College. On 7 December 2005, Khan was appointed the fifth Chancellor of the University of Bradford, where he is also a patron of the Born in Bradford research project.

In 1976 as well as 1980, he was awarded The Cricket Society Wetherall Award for being the leading all-rounder in English first-class cricket. He was also named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1983, Sussex Cricket Society Player of the Year in 1985, and the Indian Cricket Cricketer of the Year in 1990. Khan is currently placed at Number 8 on the all-time list of the ESPN Legends of Cricket. On 5 July 2008, he was one of several veteran Asian cricketers presented special silver jubilee awards at the inaugural Asian cricket Council (ACC) award ceremony in Karachi.

On 8 July 2004, Khan was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2004 Asian Jewel Awards in London, for acting as a figurehead for many international charities and working passionately and extensively in fund-raising activities. On 13 December 2007, Khan received the Humanitarian Award at the Asian Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur for his efforts in setting up the first cancer hospital in Pakistan.. In 2009, at International Cricket Council’s centennial year celebration, Khan was one of fifty-five cricketers inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.

He has also authored many books, namely Imran Khan’s cricket skill, Imran: The autobiography of Imran Khan, Indus Journey: A Personal View of Pakistan, All Round View and Warrior Race: A Journey through the Land of the Tribal Pathans.

Due to all of his dreams, achievements and on going struggles; the youth of Pakistan consider Imran Khan as their mentor, leader and the biggest HERO.


Written by Junaid

May 12, 2011 at 12:50 AM

“Basant (Jashn-e-Baharaan)” in Pakistan

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“pinna pakarh”, “daur chaaurh”, “paycha lag gaya hai, dheel daii DHEEL Daaayyy, BOO KAAATAAAA” … guys shouting the victory slogan; and then big speakers of stereo deck playing, “Patang baaz sajna say, patang baaz balma day … ”. This is typical night of spring festival of Basant celebrated on rooftops of old homes in central city of 1000BC cultural capital of Lahore.

The Basant Festival or Jashn-e-Baharaan (Festival of Spring) hails the start of spring. Kite-fliers in Lahore’s old town take to their rooftops and use strings coated with glass to cut the competition from the sky. Keep your head tilted skyward to glimpse the vibrant-coloured kites. For those wanting to get a piece of the action, Lahore’s shops are full of kites, so you can pick one up and claim your slice of the sky.

There a lot of rush at kite shops as children and middle-aged men gathered to purchase their favourite coloured kites and strings. The festival is part of the city’s centuries old culture, adding that a number of special dishes are also prepared for the occasion. Basant is the event of colours and lights, number of people in the area has installed lights at their residences; “the dance of kites in lights” is visible to everyone who would look up.

Last spring my friend living near most famous and monumental structure of Chauburji in Lahore invited us to celebrate the Basant at his residence. We all pitched in financially to buy kites and strings. I have to admit that we were not expert kite-fliers, though very enthusiastic. Among 10 kites bought, we lost half of them to the rivals and claimed one; it wasn’t a bad business deal in return of fun. His mother also prepared typical Lahori dish of “Nihari Naan” to add spice to the festival. It was not doubt best of all festive nights.

Nowadays Basant has taken shape of business; there are music concerts, family gatherings, theatres and official kite-flying competitions making this century old festival fun as well as profitable.

Written by Junaid

May 5, 2011 at 6:04 PM