KARACHI: The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has been declared Man of the Year 2020 by The Muslim 500. Compiled by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, The Muslim 500 is a Jordan-based annual publication which ranks the most influential Muslims in the world.
Written by John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalın, the book first came out in 2009. With its 11th issue recently released, Imran Khan has made it to the top two Persons of the Year, with Rashida Tlaib, US Congresswoman, as the Woman of the Year. “There are approximately 1.93 billion Muslims in the world today, making up 25% of the world’s population, or just under one-quarter of mankind,” says the publication. “This publication sets out to ascertain the influence some Muslims have on this community, or on behalf of the community. Influence is: any person who has the power (be it cultural, ideological, financial, political or otherwise) to make a change that will have a significant impact on the Muslim world.”
These influential Muslims are then chosen from a total of 13 categories, including Scholarly, Political, Administration of Religious Affairs, Social Issues, Business, Science and Technology. The list has also made Abida Perveen and Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy from Pakistan a part of its list under the category of Arts and Culture.
About the Man of the Year, the publication writes “Khan became Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2018 after 22 years devoted to building an opposition political party committed to reform; confronting Pakistan’s civilian political establishment over the issue of embedded corruption and mismanagement. This and his other accomplishments are detailed in the biography that accompanies his ranking (Number 16) in this, the latest edition of The Muslim 500. 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.”
Apart from his attempts to improve Pakistan’s relations with India, the publication also highlights his contribution towards healthcare with the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. His former career as a sportsman and captain of the Pakistan Cricket team is also commended.