Find Us

Who is Pakistan's next prime minister Imran Khan?

Who is Pakistan's next prime minister Imran Khan?
Copyright REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Copyright REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
By Pascale Davies
Published on Updated
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

Cricket-star-turned politician Imran Khan claimed victory in Pakistan's general election on Wednesday. Euronews takes a look at the man behind the cameras.


Imran Khan is used to being in the spotlight after his rise to fame as Pakistan's cricket ace.

But he will now put those days behind him after his win to become the country's next prime minister.

Euronews takes you through what you need to know about the man:

1. The Oxford man

Imran Khan was educated at Keble College at the University of Oxford, England. He read philosophy, politics, and economics during his time there and even captained the university's cricket team.

2. The cricket guru

After graduating from Oxford, Khan returned to Pakistan in 1976 where he secured a permanent place on the national cricket team. Over the years his reputation grew as did his credentials for being one of the world's fastest bowlers. He was also captain of the national team for around 10 years and led the team to its only Cricket World Cup victory in 1992. Back then, he was known as a playboy cricketer, who always had a glamorous woman on his arm, but Khan is also regarded as one of the greatest ever Pakistani cricketers.

3. The ladies man

Khan spent his early years adorned by supermodels under the media glare of London's nightclubs. He has been married three times. The first to British heiress Jemima Goldsmith, a close friend of Princess Diana’s. After nine years of marriage, they divorced in 2004 with two sons.

Khan's second marriage to British-Pakistani journalist Reham Khan in 2015 lasted just months. Since February he has been married to his 'spiritual guide' Bushra Maneka.

4. The politician

In the late 1990s Khan entered politics and formed the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party. The party aims to create a welfare state, where the state is responsible for education, health, and employability of citizens. It also promotes freedom of thought, the abolition of personal income tax and dismantling religious discrimination in Pakistan.

By 2002 the PTI won its first seat in parliament and went on to become the second largest opposition party by 2013.

5. Pakistan's shape-shifter

Pakistan is a key supply route as an unsteady ally to the US in the 16-year war in Afghanistan and tensions between the two nations are simmering. President Donald Trump announced his new strategy for the Afghan war last year and accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorists. He used his first tweet of 2018 to condemn the nearly €20 billion in aid that he claimed the US had “foolishly” provided to Pakistan in exchange for “nothing but lies and deceit”.

Trump has since withheld nearly €2 billion in security aid to Pakistan, which in turn prompted Khan to press the government to “immediately remove excessive US diplomatic, non-diplomatic and intelligence personnel from Pakistan”.

Anti-American rhetoric has been a populist vote winner during Pakistan's election campaigns. But Khan has said he is not anti-American. Instead of looking to the US for support he is eyeing rival superpower China, which is Pakistan's top trading power.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Imran Khan sworn in as Pakistan’s new prime minister

Imran Khan begins coalition search

Pakistan's Imran Khan awaits final election result before building coalition