Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
March 4th, 2009
Pakistan at the Polls
Video: You Cannot Hide from Allah

Meet the Michael Bloomberg of Pakistan.

Ishan Khan was just a regular guy, an immigrant working as a taxi driver in Washington, D.C. Then he hit the jackpot, winning more than $30 million in a lottery. Most people daydream about what they’d do if they won the lottery. For Khan, this decision would have real consequences. Khan decided to return to his hometown of Batagram, Pakistan, and run for mayor. Days later, an earthquake struck, killing 70,000 people, 4,500 of them in Batagram. Now, as mayor of this economically devastated town, Khan has to govern a constituency that seems to believe that his money can solve all of their problems.

  • Annamaria Kiss

    Interesting movie, Khan’s personality sort of comes through as a guy who is trying to find himself, and trying to gain respect in his village by using his money. He was a taxi driver in the US, now he is a powerful man at home. It does make you wonder though, if it is a good idea to mix politics with philantropy. It might not “pay off”.

  • m.abid khan

    nazim battagram mr.ishan ullah khan is very nice oerson but ..the nazim advisor as very hungery

  • Jamil Durrani

    I do appreciate for yr good deeds but I’m anxioused abt yr way of thinking.
    Excuse me dear Ihsan Khan, would you mind my comments ?
    There were more numerous ways to help poor rather to jump in politics.
    If you leave yr children at Ajmera just for name, fame and GHERAT and wish to get the appreciation from the people of Ajmera, I think you are taking risk in loss. Pls get away from that place, go a head with yr kids, start yr prosperous life at a busy city ( in USA / PAK ). Good chances nvr come again & again. I guessed you got a lot experiences of yr brothter hood and surrounding area people, especially KHAWANEEN. wassalam

  • Muhammad Riaz Khan

    Mr Ihsan ullah khan is a resident of village Ajmera District Battagram but most of time he passed out of his village.While working as taxi driver in America.In 2001 he won the lottery of 30 million dollers and back to home country pakistan.Then he selected as a District Nazim Battagram.His thaughts for Batagram was good but unfortunatly after the two days of selection as a district nazim a great disaster occured which effect the whole district badly.now the person which i dicussing was Ihsan ullah is a nice person inspite of all things he personaly visit to the DHQ Battagram on the first day of Earthquack he give 2 crore rupees for the injuries persons regarding medicines,transportation etc.no one can show this type of sympathy in district battagram.MPA.MNA did,nt show their performance with the effecty peoples of battagram in that hard time while these MPA MNA were our khawaneen.Ihsan khan was facing problems from khawaneen.he was a district nazim but he could,nt work for some one because MPA MNA did not interest in his work.The peoples did not understand his type of monopaly and was saying that Nazim did not work.In the last he resign from his designation and leave his seat to his own villager Shams ur Rehman which already a strong candidates of Trand khan party.Ihsan khan was an independent candidate,he succceded with a high votes in against of Allai and Trand khans.

  • Muhammad Riaz Khan

    Mr.Ihsan ullah is a resident of Ajmera Battagram but most of his time spend in America.In 2001 he won the US lottery of 30 million dollers and then back to his home land country pakistan,after this he selected as a Distrct Nazim Battagram.His emotion toward the peoples and development of Battagram was good.when he selected as D.N after two days of the selection a massive disaster have been occured which effect the whole district.on the first day of earthquack he personaly visited to the DHQ Hospital and give cheaque of 2 crore rupees for the injuries peoples regarding their medicines,transportatio etc.No one can show this type of sympathy with the peoples of Battagram including MPA,MNA and KHAWANEEN.He worked very sincerely at the begining but due to creating problems for Ihsan ullah in thier developmental works and other employment opportunities which he struggling for the young generation of Battagram were stopped by the local MNA and MPA.Ihsan khan was an independent candidate.He has won the election from Allai and Trand khan.The peoples of Battagram did not understand the monoply of the khans while simple saying that Nazim could not work.Actually Nazim Sb was a nice person but due to some reasons he resign from his designation and the seat of Nazim again come to the khans family

  • W. Khan

    Mr. Ihsan had an opportunity to serve the people of the area from where he belonged. The people of Batagram did not know him before the time when he got a lottery. But then the news spread over nights and the majority knew him in days. He could serve the people by joining the politics or without politics. He could build schools, hospitals or any social centers. The whole district doesn’t have any playground. Even he could make it. But he totally failed to do so. I am sure that his failure strengthened the “Khanizm” (a system introduced by the feudal landlords to hold the power) in Battagram. He could not maintain balance between his money and mentality. He was never political minded and that is why he resigned from the post of mayor for a wish to become a parliamentarian. But that time again he could not know that it is very difficult task to persuade thousand of people for parliament elections, rather than a few dozen of local UC members who had supported him before, for his mayor post.
    He was defeated badly and, and now he is concentrating only on his family.
    I think the people lost a golden opportunity to get red of the feudalism and now are looking for another “Ihsan” who can change the political scenario of Battagram and can help the people of Battagram to improve their level of life. But it is a big question whether they will be able to find him.

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 WNET.ORG Properties LLC. All rights reserved.