ISLAMABAD: The case of PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s marriage with Bushra Bibi landed in a court on Saturday, a day after a similar application by a citizen was withdrawn.

Bushra Bibi’s ex-husband, Khawar Farid Maneka, filed a fresh plea before Senior Civil Judge of Islamabad Qudratullah and recorded his statement.

The judge also issued notices to the three witnesses — Istek­ham-i-Pakistan Party member Awn Chaudhry, Mufti Moha­mmad Saeed, who officiated the nikah, and Maneka’s house servant, Lateef.

All three witnesses have been ordered to appear before the court on Nov 28 (Tuesday).

Mufti Saeed, Awn Chaudhry among witnesses summoned on 28th

According to Mr Maneka, he was “happily married” to Bushra Bibi since 1989 “till the intrusion of” Imran Khan into their marital affair “under the garb of peeri-mureedi”. He recalled that his sister-in-law, Maryam, who resides in the UAE, introduced Mr Khan to them during the 2014 sit-in held by PTI in Islamabad.

The PTI chief then started visiting his house in his absence, Mr Maneka claimed, adding that he used to stay there for hours in his absence. “[This] conduct on his part was highly unethical, un-Islamic [as] he had no reason to stay,” he alleged, adding that the visits “became very frequent with the passage of time, and at one point, respondent No. 1 [Imran Khan] was ousted by me with disgrace”. He said his servant, Lateef, informed him about Mr Khan’s frequent visits.

The petition said Mr Khan’s close friend Zulfi Bukhari used to accompany him even though he was never Bushra Bibi’s disciple. On instances, Mr Bukhari also came to Mr Maneka’s house alone, he claimed.

The PTI chief and Bushra Bibi remained in contact with each other for which cell phones and SIMs were provided to the latter by her friend, Farah Khan aka Farhat Shahzadi, Mr Maneka alleged. “I have reason to believe that they have developed illicit relations with each other even prior to their so-called nikah.”

He stated that harsh words were exchanged between the couple over his ex-wife’s conduct, but she “came up with a cover-up story of spiritualism.”

“I tried my best to reconcile the situation for the sake of my family,” Mr Maneka stated, adding that contact between his ex-wife and Mr Khan continued till Nov 14, 2017, when he “half-heartedly divorced” Bushra Bibi.

Mr Maneka claimed that even after the divorce, he was interested in reconciliation through his mother, but “my plans of reconciliation were frustrated due to [their] premature nikah” allegedly solemnised without observing the iddat period.

A month after their divorce, Farah Khan contacted him and asked to change the date on divorce papers, Mr Maneka claimed, added that he “flatly refused” to do so.

He accused Imran Khan of ruining his life and stigmatising his entire family. He claimed that Mr Khan and Bushra Bibi “committed a heinous offence by having illicit relations with each other before marriage and contracting nikah during the iddat period”, which contravenes the teachings of Islam.

“I avoided reporting the matter because I was considering it my family matter … but now, things have gone public; that’s why I am before the court,” Mr Maneka added.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2023

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