'Let's not hold his past against him. Let's see what he does as prime minister.'
Subhash K Jha reports.
"No point in writing Imran off as a distrustful statesman even before he starts," says Shatrughan Sinha, the Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Patna Saheb.
Sinha says there is no reason to be so negative about Imran Khan, who will be sworn in Pakistan's prime minister either on August 11/14/15, and India and Indians should give him a chance.
Speaking at a function in Alappuzha, Kerala, where he was receiving an award for his work as an actor and politician, Sinha said, "I see a lot of negativity and scepticism among politicians and media persons who are more political these days than actual politicians about the new wazir-e-azam Imran Khan across the border."
"Let him prove himself. He says if India takes one step forward he will take two steps; it may be just empty rhetoric. But that doesn't give news anchors and self-appointed political guardians the right to snigger at Imran's intentions," Sinha added.
"As it is, Imran Khan comes to power under a pall of distrust. The Opposition says he has rigged the elections. So, he needs to prove himself and for that he must have support from us," says Sinha.
"Let him crystallise his intentions towards India, and then we shall see. No point in writing him off as a distrustful statesman even before he starts."
"I say this sincerely. It is not my Mann ki Baat, but it's Dil ki Baat," says Sinha who has repeatedly criticised his party leadership.
"Imran has very old ties with Bollywood and India. As a legendary cricketer and a man of varied interests -- if you know what I mean -- he has proven to have a lot of charm. Let's not hold his past against him. Let's see what he does as prime minister."
Sinha cautioned against the politics of vendetta in Pakistan. "Imran Khan must not practise the vengeful politics of his predecessors. He must show grace and decency in the way Nawaz Sharif and his daughter are treated."
Then referring to the current state of politics in the country, Sinha -- who is unlikely to be given a BJP ticket for the next Lok Sabha election -- points out, "It's time politicians stopped talking politics. It has become a murky game. It's time for politicians to play the role of social activists."