Forced to shake hands with the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan had feared “this adulterous moment” could have had serious repercussions on his political ambitions.
The incident, which took place in 2006, finds mention in Khan’s biography, Imran versus Imran — The Untold Story, authored by a young Indian writer, Frank Huzur.
Referring to a public function held in New Delhi, the book points out that the organisers invited Modi to share the stage with Khan, who was not aware that he would be in the same session as the Gujarat CM.
“When Imran saw Modi, a feeling of nausea hit him as he took his seat on the panel. It was overpowering and worsened when, to his dismay, he noticed Modi sprinting towards him,” states the book in the chapter titled — Beyond Borders.
“The Gujarat chief minister stood right in front of him, and Imran tried to look away, but Modi wasn’t deterred. He took Imran’s hands and shook them warmly....It was a difficult moment and gradually Imran became mute,” the author noted.
“It was only then Imran realised photographers had ganged up to capture the initial moment of smiles, guffaws and handshakes. He was shocked at the thought that he could be portrayed on the front pages of the Pakistani newspapers the next morning,” Huzur wrote.
Khan feared the images would lead to his political ambition hitting rock bottom.
But to Khan’s relief “there was no inkling of his meeting with Modi in the Pakistan press. The photographs, which captured his adulterous moment in India, had not travelled across the border to discredit him.”
In the chapter on Indian politics, Khan has praised the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister VP Singh.