By SALMAN MASOOD, New York Times, October 31, 2011
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — An antigovernment rally in Lahore, led by the former cricket star Imran Khan, attracted a huge crowd estimated at more than 100,000 people on Sunday evening. The rally represented what supporters and some political analysts said was Mr. Khan’s emergence as a serious challenger to the governing Pakistan Peoples Party and its longtime rival, the Pakistan Muslim League-N.
Mr. Khan assailed the leaders of both parties — President Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif — as creatures of the status quo, and he has been a loud and frequent critic of Pakistan’s alliance with the United States, saying it was motivated by money.
The size of the crowd that Mr. Khan drew in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab and a traditional stronghold of the Muslim League-N, surprised his opponents and made an impression on political analysts.
Mr. Khan, 58, has languished on…