Pakistan

Being the national bhabi, meant the whole country was my susral–Reham Khan

Ex-wife of PTI chairman Imran Khan wrote an article for a UK newspaper, in which she addressed all speculations about why her marriage broke apart.

When PTI chairman Imran Khan and his wife Reham Khan announced they had mutually decided to part ways and seek divorce, the whole country was instantly curious for details. Reham and Imran had tied the knot on in early January of this year, only after 10 months to seek divorce.

Imran Khan and Reham had till now avoided the press and all of their grilling questions. However, Reham recently wrote an article in which she cited reasons for the divorce and why the marriage was taking a toll on the couple. In her write-up, Reham complained about the hype that the press created about her.

“I watched in dismay how the media spared no personal details to feed their bulletins – including flashing my children’s birth certificates on their screens. Where they found no information, they liberally filled in the blanks with their own imaginations.”

She also wrote, “Back in January, as Imran and I arrived home from our walima reception in Islamabad, I was told that we would be sitting together to give our first-ever TV interview as newlyweds. Totally unprepared, without even having the chance to change out of my bridal outfit, I was put on the hot seat to face millions of people. The anchor sprang a surprise: he said his research had shown that I had been a victim of domestic violence in my first marriage. Unprepared for a question no one had ever asked me before – about a traumatic memory that I had locked away – I tried to answer in a balanced fashion and said: “I’m not scarred by my experience of domestic violence. It is a huge issue, though. I have never spoken about my own experience before, but this issue needs a lot of awareness.”

Reham Khan also lamented about the status of men in Pakistani society and how the decision to deprive a woman of shelter was made quickly by a man.

“To me, now, it feels as if the value of a wife’s love and devotion is worthless. The price of a stamp is all you need as a man in Pakistan to shut the doors of your house to a woman who had made it a home. The decision to take away a roof from a woman’s head can be made in a flash. At 42 and after two marriages, it’s back to square one. Things that you leave behind are insignificant – they can be bought again. But the faith in humanity and the faith in love that you lose can never be replaced.”

Reham Khan, who often supported her husband in his political ventures and was seen in numerous PTI election campaigns as well as public gatherings, spoke about how she was also dissuaded from doing that.

“After Imran became family, I defended him in every way. When my campaign appearances for the PTI were criticised, I disappeared from the public eye. From both our Twitter accounts we clearly stated that I would never have a role in the party. But that wasn’t enough to put a stop to the censure. And so, I felt compelled to make a graceful exit hoping that the unimaginable pressure on my husband would cease and he could focus on his mission. Love isn’t always about hanging on. Sometimes it’s about letting go.”

Reham Khan also listed the possible reasons for their marriage concluding and said that none were credible. The marriage broke apart because she and Imran allowed it to happen.

“I have been asked constantly why my marriage ended after just 10 months: was it because of the media scrutiny? Or was it the interference of Imran’s advisors? Is it possible that family disapproval played a part? The answer: none of the above.”

“A bond that is strong can withstand any attack, rumour or pressure. It was no one but us who were responsible for the relationship’s breakdown. We are both mature adults who, between us, have an accumulated wisdom of more than a hundred years. It happened because we allowed it to happen. In the absence of any serious differences of opinion or unreasonable demands, if a bond breaks that easily, it means it has not been cemented together with strong communication.”

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