Imran Khan Pakistan A Personal History was published in 2011 by Bantam Books and later was translated into Urdu. It is an autobiography creatively aligned with Pakistan's political and social circumstances.
I read this book in three days with sub-vocalizing Imran Khan in my head. I felt I was talking face-to-face with Khan – as this book clearly conveys its point.
Imran Khan identifies himself as a true son of soil. His fathers and forefathers lived their lives through British Raj colonization, and he proudly represents being Pakistani, the first generation after Pakistan's independence. He gives all the credit to his mother for crafting a base of patriotism and to instill Islamic values in young Khan and their family household.
He interlinked and adjoint entertainment, politics, and religion creatively in this book. Presenting and exclaiming that it all goes hand in hand, or at least in his case, he learned a lot and grew with each of these phases of his life: as a cricketer, as a philanthropist, as an educationist, as a Sufi, as a politician. And yet, it is remarkable to see that he achieved his goals with hard work and determination. Khan remembers an interesting story of 1987 – Nawaz Sharif opening as a batsman at Gaddafi stadium against West Indies- where the moral was there are no shortcuts to reach your goals.
Khan talks about his dream of becoming a test cricketer, and it was his constant determination that led him to become Pakistan's cricket team captain. He stresses on dreaming big and living them–by struggling for goals. However, he claims that during this time of glitz and fame, he was disconnected from Islam. It was not until his mother was diagnosed with cancer which later robust his intentions to create Shaukat Khanam Cancer Hospital. During this crucial time, he reengaged with his roots and religion. He also tells episodes with Mian Bashir, a spiritual guide who prayed and guided him from time to time.
Khan shared insights into his marriage with Jemima Goldsmith with grace and the reality of how she struggled to be the wife of an upcoming politician. He is saddened by how his marriage didn't survive the test of time and how his children suffered in between.
"She had tried incredibly hard, but my political career and the constant attacks on her were very difficult. I felt guilty because as the older partner I was more responsible for our marriage."
As I read further, I understood that he is genuinely inspired by Jinnah's struggle for 'Azadi' and idolizes Allama Iqbal's philosophy on religion and spirituality. He keens on Iqbal's poetry, enriched with deep philosophy throughout the book, and dedicates Iqbal's last chapter.
"Iqbal was an Idealist, but he offered concrete guidance to Muslims about how to live a life grounded in integrated vision of the Quran."
His political views are straightforward and against injustice, which made him the founder and chairman of PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf). The vision reignites from the Mary-go-round of corrupt political giants who looted the nation, whereas Khan started everything from scratch.
"My dilemma was how to form a party of 'Clean' people who had the time and money to work in politics."