Waqar Younis believes Imran Khan, Pakistan’s prime minister, is keen to give peace a chance and this approach will help ease bilateral relations between India and Pakistan. Younis was a callow teenager in 1989, when Imran spotted him on telly during a domestic fixture. The then Pakistan captain almost instantly drove to the ground and told the young fast bowler that he would be playing for the national team soon. Younis went on to have 789 international wickets before hanging up his boots.
“I met him (Imran) two-three times after he became the Prime Minister. He knows it’s not going to be easy. But peace is crucial, important for the countries and the world. It’s time to move on. We shouldn’t be rigid,” Younis said.
Honesty and vision, according to Younis, are Imran’s biggest currencies. “He is a great man. He has a vision. He fought his way to this position. He gave 23 years. God has given him a chance in politics and he has got to show the nation the path and set the roadmap.”
Younis, however, said everyone will have to be on the same page. “Peace is important for our region. So whatever it takes to bring the peace… it’s not only up to the politicians, it’s up to every single individual. Every single individual should sort of work towards it.”
Younis lauded Navjot Sidhu’s Pakistan visit to attend Imran’s swearing-in ceremony. “It sent a positive vibe. Imran bhai was very happy. Also, I think with his (Imran) vision, steps will be taken so that the two countries come closer. He does things that are unexpected.”
India and Pakistan no longer play bilateral cricket for political reasons. The matter has now gone to the ICC’s disputes resolution panel. The Asia Cup, however, will see the India-Pakistan cricket face-off at least twice – thrice if the two teams reach the final. “We should be playing more and I think Imran bhai is keen on this. People want to see India-Pakistan playing,” Younis said.