Deceptive interview

Published November 22, 2023

WILL the weaponisation of victimhood ever end? Pitched as an explosive tell-all of confessions and insider accounts of the erstwhile PTI-led Punjab government, the interview of former first lady Bushra Khan’s ex-husband, Khawer Fareed Maneka, was a damp squib.

While the former couple’s post-divorce story has read like a bizarre novella for five long years, Mr Maneka’s first on-the-record conversation regarding the circumstances of their separation seemed like a feeble attempt at airbrushing himself into perfection.

Appearing on a local channel on Monday night, a week after he was released on bail in a land-grab case, the former spouse ‘opened up’. He held PTI chief Imran Khan responsible for wrecking his home, accused him of visiting Mr Maneka’s then wife at odd hours, and of “intimate involvement” in the affairs of their home. He also mentioned Bushra Bibi’s meetings with Mr Khan in Islamabad’s Banigala area.

When confronted with recordings where he had referred to her as “a pure woman” and described Mr Khan as “a good man” in the past, he claimed that at the time, he was alluding to the spiritual association between the two. Mr Maneka denied any monetary gain from their marriage and cited ‘fear’ as the absurd reason for his years of silence.

Although a repeat telecast of contradictions, this particular interview differed from those of PTI associates who claim to have jumped ship on the basis that they were politically misled. Mr Maneka, in fact, crossed a red line in talking about private lives.

The politically motivated ‘new normal’ of tearing down the privacy of home, marriage and personal space is an area best left out of politics, or else every threshold will be vulnerable to slander. Moreover, while his mistruths exposed him, there is no dearth of questions for Bushra Bibi, such as the issue of illegal financial benefits. Clearly, the unsubtle pursuit of controlling opinion has only thrown up imprints of coercion.

Published in Dawn, November 22th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Royal tantrum
Updated 20 Jul, 2024

Royal tantrum

The PML-N's confrontational stance and overt refusal to respect courts orders on arguably flimsy pretexts is a dangerous sign.
Bangladesh chaos
20 Jul, 2024

Bangladesh chaos

CHAOS has engulfed Dhaka, as well as other parts of Bangladesh, over the past few days. Anti-government protests had...
Fitch’s estimate
20 Jul, 2024

Fitch’s estimate

FITCH seems to be more optimistic about Pakistan accelerating its economic growth rate to 3.2pc during this fiscal...
Misplaced priorities
Updated 19 Jul, 2024

Misplaced priorities

The government must call its APC at the earliest and invite all stakeholders to take part; this matter cannot be delayed further.
Oman terror attack
19 Jul, 2024

Oman terror attack

THE normally peaceful sultanate of Oman was shaken by sectarian terrorism on Monday when militants belonging to the...
Urban flooding
19 Jul, 2024

Urban flooding

THE provincial authorities have been taking precautionary measures, or so we have been told, to cope with emergency...