LONDON – Imran Khan’s former wife Rehman Khan has blasted ‘cringeworthy’ wedding photos with his new bride wearing a head to toe veil, calling the pictures his ‘political suicide’.
Reham Khan, who was married to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman for a year before they divorced three years ago, told the Mail Online that the pictures of his new wife shows how out of touch the former cricketer is with modern Pakistan.
“His hopes of becoming Pakistan’s prime minister are over,” said the ex-BBC weather girl.
Reham, 44, said: “To have a woman veiled head to toe, he has alienated a lot of people. It has not gone down well, four months before the Pakistan election this is political suicide.”
“This kind of veil is uncommon. I don’t want to be rude, I was a bit miffed. It is cringeworthy.
Earlier this week, Imran Khan said his new wife has worn hijab throughout her life and that it ‘is a personal choice’.
I want to thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes on my marriage.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 19, 2018
British-Pakistani Reham Khan was born in Ajdabiya, Libya in 1973. After studies in Pakistan, she began working as a broadcast journalist in the UK in the mid-90s, including as a weather presenter for BBC South Today. After moving to Pakistan in 2012, she met Imran Khan when she interviewed him for a local TV show.
“I don’t know what he was trying to achieve. I think he is trying to achieve his departure or shift from Soho to Sufism. It has not worked if that is what he is trying to do. It is not fooling anyone,” she told the British tabloid in an exclusive interview.
Khan, 65, wed third wife Bushra Wattoo – a conservative ‘spiritual healer’ who divorced her husband last year – in a private ceremony in Lahore on Sunday.
But his second wife Reham Khan, whom he divorced after a ten-month marriage, claims the newlyweds have been having an extramarital affair for years.
Speaking in London, Reham said she knew her former husband was getting close to divorced mother-of-five Bushra Wattoo during their marriage, but that wasn’t why the relationship ended abruptly in divorce in 2015.
She alleged the former cricketer had been ‘untruthful’ about the date that he married his spiritual healer, claiming that they tied the knot on New Year’s Day and only confirmed it last week. “Imran was in contact with Bushra three years ago when I was his wife and he is not the truthful man. I knew they married on 1 January, and he revealed it later, this is exactly what he did after marrying me and then announcing after two months.”
Reham Khan added that she had been told that Khan’s new wife chose the date for recent intra-party elections.
Imran Khan and his three wives
Khan, born in Lahore into a comfortable family with origins in the Pashtun northwest, was educated at Pakistan’s prestigious Aitchison College, at boarding school in England and then at Oxford University.
He became one of the world’s greatest ever all-rounders – a fearsome fast bowler and dangerous batsman – whose finest hour came at the 1992 World Cup, where at the age of 39 he led an inexperienced team to the title.
WIFE NUMBER ONE: Jemima Goldsmith
Imran Khan’s previous weddings, particularly when he wed British socialite Jemima Khan, captivated international tabloids as well as local media in the deeply conservative Muslim nation of 208 million people.
Jemima was just 21 years old when she met the 42-year-old Imran Khan, and the couple married in 1995 – first in an Islamic ceremony in Paris and then in a civil ceremony in Richmond, London.
Having converted to Islam, she followed her new husband to Lahore, Pakistan where she learned to speak Urdu.
The couple have two sons, Sulaiman Isa, born in 1996, and Qasim, born in 1999.
After nine years of marriage, in 2004, the couple announced that they would divorce, citing Jemima’s difficulties to settle in Pakistan.
WIFE NUMBER TWO: Reham Khan
Former BBC weather presenter Reham Khan was married to Imran in January 2015 in a ceremony at his Islamabad home, but divorced ten months later.
After the divorce, Reham revealed that she – like Jemima – had been subjected to a hate campaign in Pakistan and that their marriage had not survived it.
The journalist wrote in the Guardian that she had faced ‘a barrage of abuse’ for marrying a man ‘idolised’ in his homeland by millions.
Reham Khan, who has kept her married name, writes on her website that her attention is now focused on ‘social work and humanitarian efforts in Pakistan’.
Khan is beloved by millions across Pakistan after winning the cricket-obsessed country its only World Cup in 1992.
WIFE NUMBER THREE: Bushra Wattoo
Little is known about Bushra Wattoo, a mother-of-five who divorced her first husband last year.
She is said to be Imran Khan’s ‘spiritual healer’ and the pair reportedly met two years ago during an election campaign.
Wattoo, who is also known as ‘Pinki’, comes from a deeply conservative family from eastern Punjab.
Before their relationship, Khan had sought her out for spiritual healing.
Earlier this year, local media reported that Khan caused the divorce between Wattoo and her ex-husband Khawar Fareed Maneka, something which Mr Maneka later denied.