Islamabad, July 30: Imran Khan, the cricketer who led Pakistan to a glorious World Cup victory over its former colonial ruler, England, a quarter century ago, led his political party to an equally impressive victory in Pakistan's national elections this week.
In a country as corrupt and troubled as Pakistan, a new, charismatic leader is bound to raise hopes; whether Mr. Khan can deliver is a far different question.
Pakistan's woes are many and grave. Corruption runs deep — the last elected prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, was imprisoned two weeks ago.
The national debt is ballooning, the electricity grid is disintegrating and jobs are so scarce that Pakistani workers are compelled to fan out across the Middle East to take whatever work they can find.
On top of that, terrorist strike often, relations with the United States are bad and politics are chronically unstable, with a tradition of military meddling.
Mr. Khan's victory is not free of taint. The powerful military and intelligence services through their considerable and suspect weight behind him and rival parties cried fraud. Suicide bombers targeted his supporters several times.
Mr. Khan's Justice Movement, moreover, did not win enough seats in Parliament to form a government alone, so he will need to negotiate a coalition with political opponents.
Still, his party scored big not only in the national Parliament but also in regional races across the country, a rare feat in Pakistani politics, giving Mr. Khan, 65, considerable leverage to pursue his goals. Those he listed in his victory address were a catalog of what urgently needs to be done.