ISLAMABAD - Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as the world’s oldest leader. Mahathir ousted the government of Najib Razak, which ruled the nation for over six decades, while maintaining his record of never losing a campaign.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has admired the Malaysian leader for as long as one can remember.
In 2006, before PTI became a leading political party, Mahathir Mohamad visited Pakistan to attend a conference titled, ‘A clash of civilisations or A clash of interests?’ on the invitation of Imran Khan . It was said that this was the first time in the history of Pakistan that a former prime minister of a foreign country arrived in Pakistan on the invitation of a political party. The conference was attended by media personnel and the who’s who of the political industry of Pakistan.
Following the 2006 visit, PTI chief Imran Khan in an interview to *The Guardian* in 2012, stated that Mahathir Mohamad is one of the few international leaders whom he has always admired. Among the other political leaders that he admires, Khan named Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; Brazil’s Lula da Silva; and Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew.
Moreover, as soon as the Malaysian Prime Minister was announced, Khan took to Twitter to congratulate the newly-elected PM. He stated that Najib Razak was the reason that Mahathir came out of a 15-year retirement. He continued that Mahathir had won the elections despite attempts by Razak’s government to manipulate the elections.
Not only that, following the Mahathir’s election victory, Khan managed to woo a group of lawmakers from South Punjab to join his party on the same day, a political achievement that has boosted his political fortunes that is likely to play a key role in polls.