Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders on Saturday rejected a report that party Chairman Imran Khan had allegedly married for the third time.
The News in an article published on Saturday claimed that Khan married a woman, whom he regarded as his spiritual leader, in a secret ceremony on January 1. Mufti Saeed, who had officiated Khan's second marriage with TV anchor Reham Khan in 2015, reportedly performed the nikkah, according to The News.
The report also mentions the location of the alleged marriage, saying it took place in "Sector Y of Defence Housing Authority, Lahore, at the residence of a close confidante of the bride who also happens to be a friend of a PTI leader".
PTI's chief whip Shireen Mazari termed the report "ridiculous" and "pathetic", saying that Khan's "detractors" were making up stories about his marriage now that they could not accuse him of corruption after the Supreme Court gave the party leader a clean chit in the disqualification case last year.
In a subsequent tweet, she reminded everyone that Khan's marriage was no one's business.
Political secretary of the PTI chief, Awn Chaudhry, took to Twitter to vehemently deny the report, saying that he had "categorically denied the veracity of this planted gossip".
In another tweet, he said that while he wished that Khan finds a life partner so he can get married, the matter was not related to politics.
According to The News' report, Chaudhry denied that Khan's marriage had taken place. However, the story claimed that he was one of the witnesses at Khan's nikkah.
PTI spokesperson Naeemul Haque was also quoted by The News who, like his party members, denied that any such incident had taken place.
"Considering my 35-year-long association and keeping in view the fact that I have been privy to his personal life, I can say with absolute confidence that nothing like this occurred," he was quoted as saying. He further said that if Khan were to marry, he would do so after the 2018 general election.
Mufti Saeed, however, was hesitant to comment on the matter, according to the report.
The PTI chief has been married twice before. His first marriage was with Jemima Goldsmith, daughter of a British billionaire in 1995. The couple divorced in 2004.
Khan's second marriage to Reham Khan dissolved 10 months after a public ceremony had taken place in January, 2015.