Back in the Nineties - They Insisted Imran Won’t Succeed!

Now, of course, they are sending him mithai and mubarakbad! In fact, there are those, who are admiring his ill-fitted sherwani!

But, during the early Nineties, when Imran Khan had started his jaunt in the siyasat avenue, most showbiz chaps were shaking their heads and making faces. ‘Nope! Cricket is something else, but politics isn’t his piece of cake!’ an idle gossiper conspired. ‘Yaar, Khan sahib ko samjhao, Khuda ke wastey!’ one fellow whispered in my ear, at a function, as if I was Khan’s ardali (orderly!) or something. ‘Jitni izzat kirkit mein kamai hai, sab barbaad ho jaegi!’

I silently heard this for a month, before the first celebrity, marhoom Junaid Jamshed, made me sit on a table for two, and gave it to me straight: “Zullu, too likh yaar, I don’t think this is a good idea. Meaning Khan Sahib joining political bandwagon! I mean we agree to all his views. You know we love him. But, this is something else.”

Junoon, you know, went viral with their famous Ehtisab song against Nawaz Sharif. And they were, of course, unhappy with Noon. But, aside from being reinstated by Musharraf, they were generally having discussions with Imran during that time. Yet, some people opined that even Junoon were divided amongst themselves whether Imran will be a successful politician. Now, of course, Salman Ahmed is an untiring member of Imran’s team. But, Ali Azmat doesn’t readily admit to such an alliance.

Other singers and actors, too, waved their hands in dismissal, :Naheen Zullu Bhai! You will see him failing in politics. It’s not his cup of tea." Shariq X, Mishi Khan, Reema, Meera, Hussain Haqqani, Imran Aslam, Nadeem Farooq Paracha and others had the same views.

Khalid An’am, a famous singer and actor, analysing Imran’s entry in politics, once said, “Bhaee, politics is not a 5-day game. Khan Sahab ko iss mein lohay ke chanay chabaney parr jaeinge!”

Sadia Hussain, a hot spot in the Nineties, in TV serials, smiled, “He’s handsome, he is a great athlete. I’d be with him all the way. But, politics does look like a bit odd for him.”

Sajid Hasan, protesting against television with many other artistes, told me, “Abey naheen bhaee! Imran Khan khwah makhwah politics mein ghuss raha hai! I am a great fan of his cricket. But, politics is not feasible for him!”

It’s nothing abnormal to have an opinion. And most of us end up being wrong on occasions. But, Imran Khan, finally did walk up the stairs of the PM House in August 2018!