Thursday 17 September 2020

Getting to know him


Well, here's a turn-up for the books. 

People on blogs like this - including this very blog - complained for years about the BBC's penchant for cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, the eternal would-be leader of Pakistan.

People hereabouts warned that he was a dangerous Islamist, but he was the BBC's darling. 

And now he's the Pakistani PM and, we learn today, favours the death penalty, and castration for rapists - neither of which are very BBC, though the latter is probably considered 'progressive' in Pakistan. 

The BBC actually reported something bad about him earlier this year, which I missed at the time and only found accidentally today:

"I will never forget how we Pakistanis were embarrassed when the Americans came into Abbottabad and killed Osama Bin Laden, martyred him," Khan said.

Khan used the word "shaheed" - a reverential Arabic term for a martyr of Islam.

Looking back on old BBC interviews with him, I found a 2011 transcript of one with Andrew Marr. Mr Khan was on to plug his book. This question pretty much sums up the tone of the entire BBC towards Imran Khan back then:

Now you famously created a cancer hospital, a free cancer hospital. You've done a lot of that kind of philanthropic work. And you hope that your political party's time might have come, but you're starting from a very small base, if I can put it politely, and you're up against people with huge amounts of money and a kind of old system of sort of barons parcelling out party seats.

Just look at the language there: It pits Imran Khan, the David-like "cancer cancer hospital" guy, who's "done a lot of that kind of philanthropic work" and whose party starts from a David-like "very small base", against a Goliath-like system of the rich and powerful. 

At least Andrew went on later to ask the real question - though this was the only question of that kind he put:
Your critics say that you know you come across very well and all the rest of it, but you've become quite a tough Islamist yourself.

Imran Khan is a tough Islamist. He has, of course, also ruled out Pakistan recognising the State of Israel.  

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