Cricket Captain former national promises to fight against corruption and to negotiate with Taliban leaders to rally in Lahore 100,000
At the height of its glory days of cricket, Imran Khan winning display - on the podium, the cup aloft - and propel Pakistan to victory. Last week, standing before a sea of ??supporters in Lahore, had a similar epiphany his political career.
"While I was there, watching them, I knew it was time," said Khan, who is the head of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insafr party. "Now, there is no can stop it is a revolution, a tsunami will not only win the next election -... Let's sweep "
if the former cricket captain can translate rhetoric into reality is the subject of heated debate. However, few doubt that the rally last week struck Pakistan's political system moribund.
More than 100,000 people crammed into a historic park of Lahore. Many were middle-class Pakistanis - young, urban, educated - drawn up by the rhetoric of Mr. Khan and his outrage at conventional politics
"This is the emergence of a new force. The cry for change echoes through Pakistan," said Ayaz Amir, a deputy party rival Nawaz Sharif, who was there . "Young, old, professionals, women -. I have never seen these people in a public meeting in Pakistan before"
view, Amir said, was "scared" out of his own party.
But others are skeptical that Khan is a real change. "We hear this rhetoric many times before," says Badar Alam, editor of the Herald. "I am careful about that. I do not know what the agenda is really to promote. "
Khan is clearly optimistic. For years he has campaigned on a platform of what some call "anti-politics" - the outspoken critic of corruption and cronyism that infect Pakistani politics. Now, he said, agreed.
Sitting on the porch of his house atop a hill outside of Islamabad, told through the city to the presidential palace. "[President Asif Ali] Zardari is a thief, nothing more," he said. "We broke all records in corruption."
plan for the economy is "inspired" by the Pakistanis to pay tax - currently only 2% do. "We just have some of austerity and tax. If we do this, we can balance our budgets," he said.
in power, said Khan, who would cut off U.S. aid. "I want to be a friend of the Americans, not his lackey is a curse to help a poor country. He stops to make the necessary reforms and support for offenders. "
But perhaps more alarming Pakistan's Western allies - and some Pakistani - Khan said he would negotiate instead of fighting with Taliban militants who bombed Pakistani cities
"Anyone who thinks this country will be taken by the Taliban are stupid. There is no concept of a theocracy of any part of the Muslim world during the last 1400 years. If you came to power, the conflict could end in 90 days - guaranteed "
His political views are firmly rooted in a particular vision of Islam. It does not change for the notorious blasphemy law - a heated debate that led to murder his friend Salman Taseer in January. "The time is not good. There would be bloodshed. You have to worry about other things, "he said.