Tuesday Oct 08, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has been named as ‘Man of the year’ by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in its recent list of the most persuasive Muslims in the world.
The report comes a day after it emerged that the Pakistani leader has become the sixth most popular world leader on Twitter, boasting 10.5 million followers on the micro-blogging platform.
According to the report, the center is an autonomous research entity with the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan.
“If The Muslim 500 was in print back in 1992 and I was the Chief Editor then, I would have nominated Imran Khan as our Muslim Man of the Year because of his brilliant performance in cricket, which culminated in Pakistan winning the 1992 Cricket World Cup — a sport I have always admired for its combination of elegance and intense competitive play,” Professor S Abdallah Schleifer, a professor emeritus of journalism at the American University in Cairo, who chose both the winners for the titles said,
But what is particularly to his credit is that upon taking office in August 2018 Khan made it quite clear that one of his top priorities was to work for a lasting peace with India. He wanted to normalise relations through trade, and settling the Kashmir dispute, “the foremost impediment” in the Prime Minister’s own words “to the normalization of relations between us.”
Prof S Abdallah Schleifer, who also serves as the Chief Editor of the Muslims 500 said, "This is Imran Khan’s great dilemma — how do you make a much desired lasting peace with a nation governed by those who have neither interest nor need to make a lasting peace with Pakistan, and against whom any form of war would be hopeless.
The answer it would seem that Khan’s efforts must now focus on mobilizing global opinion, to turn a RSS- led India a global pariah".
The Pakistani leader’s popularity increased manifold after what his supporters said his impressive speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
In his speech, not only did Imran Khan highlight Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir, but he also raised concerns about rising Islamophobia in the world.
It was perhaps due to his hard-hitting speeches which he delivered on different occasions during his visit to the United States, the former cricket hero became one of the most-searched world leaders attending the UN General Assembly session last month.
Professor Schleifer said Khan’s role in cricket was not the only criteria for him being bestowed with the title.
He said he was also impressed with Khan launching a successful fund-raising campaign to establish a hospital devoted to both the care of cancer victims and its research.
It was PM Khan’s desire for peace with neighbouring India which earned him the title, the newspaper quoted Schleifer as saying.