- He was educated at Aitchison College, Lahore and the Royal Grammar School Worcester, England.
- He enrolled in Keble College, Oxford where he did BA (Hons.) in 1975.
- He made his first-class cricket debut at the age of 16 in Lahore. By the start of the 1970s, he played for his home teams.
- At the height of his career in 1982, he took over the captaincy of the Pakistan Cricket Team.
- His career-high as a captain and cricketer came when he led Pakistan to victory in 1992 Cricket World Cup.
- During the 1990s, he also served as UNICEF’s Special Representative for Sports and promoted health and immunization programmes in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
- By 1991, he had founded the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, a charity organization bearing the name of his mother, Mrs. Shaukat Khanum. It was the first and only cancer hospital, constructed using donations and funds exceeding $25 million, raised by him from all over the world.
- On 27 April 2008, he also established a technical college in the Mianwali District called Namal College. It was built by the Mianwali Development Trust (MDT), and is an associate college of the University of Bradford.
- On 25 April 1996, he founded a political party, called Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). He ran for the seat of National Assembly of Pakistan in Pakistani general election 1997 as a candidate of PTI from two constituencies but was unsuccessful and lost both the seats.
- He won his seat and became member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from 2002 to 2007, and again from 2013 to 2018.
- In the 2018 General Elections, he contested on 5 seats and won on all the seats. Overall his party won the majority seats in the National Assembly and hence made the Government on 18 August 2018.