Imran Khan: A journey from playboy to passionate politician

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London, Jan. 22 (ANI): Few could have predicted that former playboy cricketer Imran Khan who vanished from the international party scene after his marriage to heiress Jemima Goldsmith in 1995, would transform himself into a passionate politician.

Politics has become his mission in life.

"My mission is to cure my country of endemic corruption. But, if you are in Pakistan, watching this political mafia sucking the blood of the country, how can you stand by?" The Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

Although no one could accuse Khan of standing by, the former Pakistan skipper spent months during his country's 2007 election campaign, in which Benazir Bhutto was killed, living underground.

He says he was in hiding because he was leading the movement to reinstate sacked Chief Justice, Iftikhar Chaudhary.

Accused of treason by Musharraf, he was jailed for a week.

But now, in an effort to re-emerge in the political arena, Khan offered to broker a deal between the Pakistani Taliban and his government.

"If Karzai and the coalition forces are beginning to talk to the Afghan Taliban, why aren't we talking to the Pakistani Taliban? I told the Prime Minister, Yousaf Gilani, I will broker a deal," he said.

"And, before I left for Britain, two of the Taliban leaders contacted me to say they would go along with it - they trust me. I am the only one they trust because I am not seen as an American stooge. The people know I am independent," he added.

Since his divorce from Jemima in 2004, Khan has lived alone outside Islamabad. He now acknowledges that sometimes he feels glad his wife and children are no longer exposed to the chaos and danger of Pakistan.

"It's not as bad as it looks out there, it's worse. The boys used to go to school in Islamabad, now every day there is a bomb, an explosion, suicide bombers, someone is killed or a bomb murders dozens of innocent people. Although I miss my children very much, I know I would worry about them all the time if they were still out there," he said. (ANI)

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