There is an old adage that it requires immense pressure for coal to turn into a diamond. Similarly, the nerve wracking moments are a litmus test for man’s abilities, if he maintained his composure under pressure then he comes out victorious against all the odds and even his critics surrender and start to sing encomiums for him. Annals of history are filled with the examples of such men and not too long ago in the short history of man, Weinstein Churchill a seemingly meek gentleman who did not seem to have the charisma and iron fist which was required to lead the nation in a crucial time like World War 2 (WW2) proved everyone wrong and substantiated that looks can be deceiving. The recent exchange between the two heavy weights of South Asia has also unveiled the true potential of our Prime Minister Imran Khan, who until now was being berated for having no clear policy to tackle the problems besetting our country. Before Pulwama incident, we thought Khan would fail in handling an international situation like this, because of his inexperience However, Khan has clean-bowled the critics and his counterpart Narendra Modi on the other side of LOC with his reverse swing and has sent a clear message that the Sportsman we knew has become a Statesman. As it is a renowned fact that BJP is a right-wing political party which feeds on hatred, scorn and fear like a voracious creature. The more it scares the Hindu diaspora that their religion will be devoured by minorities the more the naïve population gives it power hoping that BJP will protect the survival of their cast, creed and religion. However, the cat came out of the back when BJP’s Karnataka Chief BS Yeddyurappa claimed that after the (so called) strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammad Camp in Balakot BJP will bag 22 out of the 28 seats for Lok Sabha in the state. In view of these developments Khan came up with the strategy of debunking myths that Modi’s Government was floating, it was he who pointed out that it is just for the sake of political expediency that BJP is flexing its muscles and is trying to garner votes on the dead bodies of military personnel and civilians. This single Yorker by Khan discombobulated Modi and gave the opposition parties a lead, further weakening Modi’s credibility at home. Before Pulwama incident, we thought Khan would fail in handling an international situation like this, because of his inexperience However, Khan has clean-bowled the critics and his counterpart Narendra Modi on the other side of LOC with his reverse swing and has sent a clear message that the Sportsman we knew has become a Statesman Furthermore, soon after the self-proclaimed airstrikes, Khan involved the international media and offered them to visit the bombing site in Balakot, which poured cold water on claims by Indian government that more than 300 terrorists were killed. Within no time the layman started assailing the Indian government for proof and the final nail in this coffin of airstrikes was driven by Congress CM Mamata Banerjee from west Bengal who dismissed claims of the Indian Government’s successful operations in Pakistan. What initially started as a successful propaganda campaign is now being seen with a quizzical eye. Although apparently Khan was accused of imploring Modi to come to the table, some quarters implied that this was a display of weakness on Pakistan’s part but there was a broader perspective and vision behind this action. As Pakistan is accused of harboring terrorists in the international arena owing to the inaction of the previous governments on diplomatic level, for they never devised a comprehensive strategy to tackle Pakistan’s defamation. However, Khan picked up the gauntlet and mitigated the damage by slowly improving Pakistan’s image. Today international media has also praised Pakistan’s efforts for peace and how Khan has time and again extended an olive branch to India to defuse the tensions. Although the Indian media is enamoured of Modi government because of their massive funding and revenue generation through advertisements but the way Indian anchors are breathing fire is also for the sake of Television Rating Point (TRP). On the other side of the spectrum when it comes to Social Media websites like Twitter and Facebook, where the picture is much clearer because people can put across their point of view individually, there Khan won the audience unequivocally. The Trend #saynotowar has made it to the top on twitter which shows that Khan’s eloquence won people on both sides of the border. A leader is someone who understands that war is not a solution, he is someone who knows bearing the torch for peace does not mean his is weak. The way Khan has restrained from aggression yet at the same time ordered the armed forces to give a befitting response, if we are pushed to war shows the world that he is a sensible man. His decision to release the captured Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman was not because of pressure but because he wants to steer the two nations away from death and destruction. In a time as crucial as this one, the world is in an ever greater need to have a statesmen like Imran Khan. The writer is a freelance columnist Published in Daily Times, March 5th 2019.