Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has made it to the cover page of the American magazine TIME.

The former prime minister in an exclusive interview with Charlie Campbell spoke extensively about his plan to return to power.

Writing about the crackdown of the government against his party, the police raids and the assassination attempt of November 2022, the magazine wrote: “The state appears to flirt with the idea. Police raids on Khan’s home in the Punjab province capital of Lahore in early March left him choking on tear gas, he says, as supporters brandishing sticks battled police in riot gear before makeshift barricades of sandbags and iron rods. This sort of crackdown has never taken place in Pakistan, says Khan.”


Imran Khan tells Campbell that political stability in Pakistan comes through elections. But, the magazine adds, from the U.S. perspective, he may be far from the ideal choice to helm an “impoverished, insurgency-racked Islamic state”. But is he the only person that can hold the country together, the magazine asks.

“Never has one man scared the establishment … as much as right now. They worry about how to keep me out; the people how to get me back in,” Khan tells Campbell.

Talking about Khan’s relentless taunting of the United States, Campbell wrote, “To journalists and supporters, he[Khan] has accused the U.S. of imposing a ‘master-slave’ relationship on Pakistan and of using it like ’tissue paper.’ To TIME, he insists that ‘criticizing U.S. foreign policy does not make you anti-American.’ Still, by 2022, the generals no longer had his back. The common perception among Pakistan watchers is that Khan’s fleeting political success was owed to a Faustian pact with the nation’s military and extremist groups that shepherded his election victory and he is now reaping the whirlwind.”

Khan presented a step-by-step plan to get Pakistan back on track, which Campbell pointed out was thin on details. After the elections, Khan says that a “completely new social contract” is required to enshrine power in political institutions rather than the military. If the army chief “didn’t think corruption was that big a deal, then nothing happened,” Khan complained while talking with TIME. “I was helpless.”

However, the path to this utopia remains murky, the news outlet pointed out. Asked how he plans to turn his much trumpeted Islamic Welfare State ideal into a reality, Khan talks about Medina under the Prophet and the social conscience of Northern Europeans. “Scandinavia is probably far closer to the Islamic ideal than any of the Muslim countries.”

Campbell further wrote that Khan still claims that the crisis in Pakistan can be solved by elections, despite his broken relationship with the military. “The same people who tried to kill me are still sitting in power,” Khan says. “And they are petrified that if I got back [in] they would be held accountable. So they’re more dangerous.”