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Day 23: Islamabad

Michael Palin - HimalayaIslamabad is also home to one of Pakistan's national heroes, a cricketer who led his side to a never-to-be forgotten World Cup victory, founded a cancer hospital in memory of his mother, but failed to work his magic in the world of politics. His name is Imran Khan and his PTI, anti-corruption party has only one seat in the National Assembly, his own. It's said that the reasons why he picked up so few votes were that those he attracted were below the voting age of 21, and those he alienated, like the landowners, remain very powerful.

In today's morning paper, however, a disillusioned former colleague of Imran is more severe. He blames Imran's dictatorial tendencies. 'This is not cricket, this is politics. And Imran has never understood that fact.'

We turned up at an unostentatious detached house in a leafy street whose name I forget, but it might have been 14.

Imran is in a meeting but three amiable dogs rise to greet us, tails wagging vigorously, until that becomes too much of an effort and they collapse, bellies flat against warm stones or on their backs in the shade of the verandah, legs spread-eagled in abandon.
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  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 23: Islamabad
  • Country/sea: Pakistan
  • Place: Islamabad
  • Book page no: 47

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