Tuesday 27 September 2016

Politician Imran Khan confirms divorce from wife, former BBC presenter Reham, after 10 months of marriage

Jamie McKinnell

Published 30/10/2015 | 12:49

File photo dated 09/07/13 of former cricketer and head of Pakistan's opposition Tehreek-e-Insaf party Imran Khan, who is to divorce his wife less than a year after the pair wed. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
File photo dated 09/07/13 of former cricketer and head of Pakistan's opposition Tehreek-e-Insaf party Imran Khan, who is to divorce his wife less than a year after the pair wed. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Imran Khan, the Pakistani politician and former cricket star, and his wife, Reham Khan, an ex-BBC presenter, have parted ways after less than 10 months of marriage.

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The couple have divorced by mutual consent, a spokesman for his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party, said in a short statement to local media.



The former couple confirmed news of their split via their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Khan also told his 2.97 million Twitter followers he has the "greatest respect for Reham's moral character".

In this Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 file photo, Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and his newly-wed wife Reham Khan leave a local madrassa, or seminary, in Islamabad, Pakistan. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash, File)
In this Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 file photo, Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and his newly-wed wife Reham Khan leave a local madrassa, or seminary, in Islamabad, Pakistan. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash, File)

The Khans had both indignantly insisted last month that their marriage was strong amid an earlier bout of rumours in Pakistan that the relationship was on the rocks.

Arif Nizami, a Pakistan television talk show host, reported that Imran Khan, 63, was regretting his decision to marry Reham, 42, adding that their marriage was “at the verge of collapse” and their relations had reached the “the point of no return”.

He said that the former Test cricketer had recently returned from London where he stayed with his ex-wife Jemima Goldsmith and their children. The couple divorced in 2004 after nine years of marriage.

Imran Khan responded at the time: "I am shocked at a TV channel making slanderous statement about my marriage. I strongly urge the media to desist from such baseless statements."

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 file photo, Reham Khan, center, wife of Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, leaves a local madrassa, or seminary, in Islamabad, Pakistan. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash,file)
FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 file photo, Reham Khan, center, wife of Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, leaves a local madrassa, or seminary, in Islamabad, Pakistan. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash,file)

But a month later, the split seems to have been confirmed. The Dawn newspaper said the rift developed as Mrs Khan wanted to become involved in politics, according to a source quoted as close to the PTI leadership.

"She wanted to get involved with politics and that is not what Khan wanted at all. She just did not want to sit at home," the source said.

FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 file photo, Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan gestures during an anti-government rally in Larkana, Pakistan.
(AP Photo/B.K. Bangash, File)
FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 file photo, Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan gestures during an anti-government rally in Larkana, Pakistan. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash, File)

"There were teething problems as well over other issues which were being resolved but this was a major issue — she wanted to get into politics and was not ready to back down."

Ms Khan, who was a divorced mother-of-three at the time, worked for the BBC as a weather presenter until 2013, when she moved back to her native Pakistan and began working for television channels there.

After her relationship with Imran Khan became public, she was the subject of attacks in social media in Pakistan over photographs showing her wearing a knee-length skirt, and presenting television shows in a figure-hugging top.

Reham Khan was reported already to have left Pakistan for London. She was born in Libya to Pakistani parents while her father was working in the north African country as a doctor.

She went to college in Pakistan and Britain and started working for the BBC in 2006. She had married her first cousin, Ejaz Rehman, a British psychiatrist, when she was 19. The couple had three children before their divorce.

During his time as a cricket star, Mr Khan had a reputation as a playboy. His private life, including his first marriage to a British socialite, were regarded as a possible vote-losers in conservative Pakistan, where he hopes to become a future prime minister.

Telegraph.co.uk

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