Imran, Reham part ways

Published October 31, 2015
this handout photograph released by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Jan 8, 2015, shows Imran Khan and Reham Khan posing for a photograph at their wedding ceremony in Islamabad.—AFP
this handout photograph released by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Jan 8, 2015, shows Imran Khan and Reham Khan posing for a photograph at their wedding ceremony in Islamabad.—AFP

ISLAMABAD: It’s official now. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief and his second wife have decided to part ways.

“Imran Khan and Reham Khan have decided to divorce by mutual consent,” Naeemul Haq, formal spokesman for the PTI chief, confirmed on Friday.

In a brief statement, Mr Haq requested the media to respect the couple’s privacy. “Due to the sensitivity and seriousness of this extremely painful matter it is requested that the media refrain from any speculation. There will be no further communication in this respect.”

In a follow-up press release, Mr Haq also cautioned PTI leaders and workers against commenting on the matter.

Speculations have been swirling thick and fast for weeks about serious differences between the two.

The two solemnised their marriage in January this year in a private but much talked-about ceremony. At that time also, the media was ripe with stories about their intention to tie the knot before the decision was made public on Jan 8.

On both occasions, however, the PTI chief had initially rejected reports as mere speculations. Following Friday’s announcement of their separation, Imran Khan, in a series of tweets, sought privacy from everyone at this ‘difficult time’ of his life.

“This is a painful time for me & Reham & our families. I would request everyone to respect our privacy. I have the greatest respect for Reham’s moral character & her passion to work for & help the underprivileged,” he said.

At the same time, the PTI chief hit out at reports about reported financial settlement between the two. “Reports & speculation about financial settlements are absolutely false and shameful.”

Reham Khan also confirmed the development in her tweet and said, “We have decided to part ways and file for divorce.”

Although soon after their marriage, the two presented themselves before the media as a happy couple, reports started making the round that PTI leaders in general and Mr Khan’s family in particular weren’t happy with Ms Reham.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, expecting unsavoury remarks from leaders of his party about the divorce, directed his followers “to refrain from commenting on family and personal matters of Imran Khan”.

Agencies add: Imran Khan had lived alone for 11 years following his divorce from his first wife, Briton Jemima Goldsmith. They were married for nine years and split in 2004. Imran has two sons from that relationship who live with their mother in the UK.

The news of his divorce comes a day before the local government elections in Punjab and Sindh. Analysts say it may negatively affect PTI’s chances at the polls.

Ms Reham, a former BBC weather host and a divorced mother of three, was widely criticised after she appeared at public meetings of the PTI, with opponents accusing her of seeking to boost her own profile through her husband’s fame.

Published in Dawn, October 31st, 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play

Opinion

The ECI headache
08 May 2021

The ECI headache

The ECI sat mute while BJP held huge rallies without following SOPs.
Engaging the enemy
08 May 2021

Engaging the enemy

The ghost of the Musharraf formula has started to haunt the current backchannel process.
Will OIC confront France?
Updated 08 May 2021

Will OIC confront France?

For Pakistan to keep its GSP-Plus status it will have to show the EU that it treats its blasphemy accused fairly.
Standing by Kashmir
Updated 07 May 2021

Standing by Kashmir

A comprehensive failure of governance is always a comprehensive moral failure of the governors.

Editorial

Updated 08 May 2021

Delayed poll debate

THE debate on electoral reforms is going nowhere. Even though the major political parties say reforms are critical,...
08 May 2021

Reducing deficit

THE numbers show that the government has managed to arrest growth in fiscal deficit — the difference between the...
08 May 2021

Rise in dog bites

ON Wednesday, an unusually high number of dog-bite cases were reported in Larkana, when 19 people — the majority ...
Reprimanding envoys
Updated 07 May 2021

Reprimanding envoys

The prime minister should have engaged with honest and respectable officers to identify how solutions can be found.
07 May 2021

Foreign funding case

THE foreign funding case against the PTI has become a never-ending tale. It has been dragging on for years and after...
07 May 2021

Water woes

IRRIGATION experts have voiced concern over the decline of freshwater flow through Kotri barrage, which has led to...