ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and television journalist Reham Khan's nikkah ceremony took place on Thursday at the politician's residence in Bani Gala.
The nikkah, which was a low-key affair, was conducted by Mufi Saeed and was followed by a photo session of the newly-weds. During the ceremony, the Haq Mehr was set at Rs100,000.
"We are praying for Imran Khan's success," said Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq, adding that the country was facing a very tense situation and therefore the happy news was welcomed.
Yousuf Khan, Reham Khan’s nephew, when speaking to the media said that the function was attended by his mother and two of the bride’s closest friends.
He said that most of Reham Khan’s family is in the United Kingdom and the United States, which was why they could not attend the event.
He also stated that Imran Khan’s closest friends attended the nikkah ceremony as well.
The party’s central information secretary had earlier said on Thursday that the wedding will be a low-key affair.
Dismissing reports that the wedding would be a fundraising event for Imran’s Shaukat Khanum Cancer Memorial Hospital, Shireen Mazari told Dawn: “As far as I know, it is an extremely private affair. There are no such ticketed cards and no grand function.”
“Imran is in no mood to celebrate after the Peshawar tragedy,” Mazari added. “This is not a time to celebrate.”
Mazari hinted that a nikah ceremony was likely to take place “today or this week” and that a purported marriage document doing the rounds on Twitter was “absolutely fake”.
She added that Imran has been cautious about the announcement as he wanted to inform his children first. “He was not going to do anything until he spoke to his sons first.”
Another Lahore-based senior party leader on condition of anonymity said he was not aware of any grand event for the wedding and has not been invited for a ceremony. "I am told there will be some distribution of food to the needy," the party member said.
Days after the British press broke the news of Imran's alleged marriage to broadcast journalist Reham Khan, the former cricketer on Tuesday hinted that an official announcement was in the offing.
"Marriage is not a crime,” Imran had said at a press conference in Islamabad after his return from London.
“When you have children from your first marriage, they are the first priority,” he had said, explaining that it was important for him to inform his sons first.
No valima ceremony, no invites
Senior PTI leader and a close confidante of the PTI chairman, Jehangir Tareen told Dawn on Thursday that no party leaders have been invited to Imran's wedding.
"It is completely private. I have not been invited, neither has anyone else. The party understands that this is Khan's private decision and not for us or anyone to be involved in."
Tareen added that there will be no valima ceremony for Imran and Reham's wedding. "There will be no valima ceremony. Instead, food will be given to madrassahs."
When asked if Tareen has been introduced to Reham by his party leader, he said, "I have never been introduced to her. No one has... Khan has kept it totally private."
The cricketer-turned-politician was previously married to English journalist and activist Jemima Goldsmith for nine years. The marriage ended amicably in 2004 with Goldsmith stating that she was unable to adapt to life in Pakistan.
She has campaigned against drone strikes in Pakistan, as well as against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The marriage was described as ‘tough’, ending in a divorce after nine years in June 2004 as Jemima was allegedly unable to adapt to Pakistani culture.
Jemima on Tuesday congratulated via Twitter the PTI leader on "this new phase of his life," alluding to his reported marriage to broadcast journalist Reham Khan.
Speculations about Imran's alleged marriage to Reham have been widely reported in recent days.
Reham Khan is a British Pakistani journalist who started her career in the BBC as a weather forecaster. Later she worked for the network as a broadcast journalist. She joined Pakistani news channel News One in 2013 and is currently working as an anchor at DawnNews.