Imran Khan’s ascendency as the 22nd Prime Minister (PM) of Pakistan is indeed a spectacular outcome for Khan’s 22 year old political struggle. He founded his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in 1996, and stood for social justice and accountability on the model set by Hazrat Omar (RA), the second of the four Rightly Guided Caliphs of Islam. Until 2011, he supposedly despised the politics of ‘electables’. According to him, these opportunists lead parties and governments to the politics of patronage and corruption. Thus he was initially joined by upright and respectable politicians, such as Mairaj Muhammad Khan. However, the PTI was seen only on the fringes of Pakistani politics. However, Khan’s political fate turned for good when he held his Lahore rally on October 30, 2011. As Daily Telegraph put it then, he bowled back into the game of political power with that rally, which stunned both the media and politicians. Many believed he was supported by the country’s powerful military establishment after it was unable to fully rope in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to overthrow the then Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government, following an acute split between the PPP government and the military over the ‘Memogate’ scandal. Nevertheless, Khan was for the first time, a serious contender. In the next eighteen months, he attracted many more respectable personalities such as Justice (Retd) Wajeehuddin and established politicians like Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Makhdoom Javed Hashmi; both of whom had left PPP and PML-N respectively. By the time the 2013 General Elections were announced, Imran Khan had a sizable number of former PML-Q leaders in his party. PTI’s increasing popularity amongst the youth and increased media coverage, was no doubt threatening the PPP and PML-N’s political clout. Interestingly, the 2013 General Elections could not put Khan and his party in power. PML-N returned victorious, with the largest number of seats in the National Assembly. However, Khan refused to accept these election results. Within months, he had taken to the streets with sit-ins and rallies against what he termed organized rigging. Khan was initially joined by upright and respectable politicians, such as Mairaj Muhammad Khan. However, the PTI was seen only on the fringes of Pakistani politics Throughout the PML-N’s 2013-2018 tenure, Khan continued with his unrelenting rigging narrative, agitating against the alleged injustice. Even a 2015 report on rigging by a judicial commission, which was set up following Khan’s 126 day sit-in in front of Parliament, failed to satisfy Khan. In this backdrop, an international report on off-shore companies was leaked to the media completely out of the blue. Since it mentioned Nawaz Sharif and his family, the report provided Khan with just the right weapons. Henceforth, Khan fanned a vicious narrative of corruption to discredit PML-N. As just discrediting the government was not enough, Khan sold all sorts of dreams to both the people and the media to bring them to his side. Although PTI’s provincial government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was hardly exemplary, it still announced a ‘100-day agenda’ which it planned to implement if elected to power. Rife with religious references from the model state of Medina, the agenda virtually promised to fetch the moon, presenting crucial challenges in simple and populist terms. Now, following the elections, which many commentators believe were rigged, Khan and his party must pause for a moment, and reassure themselves that the PTI is no longer in the opposition. Only gradually will the PTI government find traction over matters that it must call the shots on. This means several things, including that PM Imran Khan will have to stop engaging in the slogging he learnt during his cricketing days. In politics, slogging refers to certain shortsighted behaviours and acts. These include being reckless with bureaucracy and diplomatic affairs or taking pompous austerity measures. Such steps can definitely elicit applause from the people, as once did the high-flying sixers and boundary shots of Shahid Afridi, but you can’t rely on wild showboating if you wish to play all fifty overs of your inning. Khan can get a cue from his erstwhile fellow and great batsman, Javed Miandad, who used to steadily build the innings for the team that won the 1992 World Cup for Khan. The writer is a sociologist with an interest in history and politics. He tweets @ZulfiRao Published in Daily Times, August 30th 2018.