Nearly 10 months after Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan tied the knot with TV journalist Reham, the two have divorced with mutual consent amid reports that Imran did not approve of her meddling in political affairs, agencies report.
The former cricketer’s marriage to Reham was his second after his first marriage with English heiress Jemima Goldsmith for nine years ended in divorce in June, 2004. He has two sons from his previous marriage.
“Yes, I can confirm the divorce. Everything has been settled between the two,” said PTI spokesman Naeemul Haq.
“Imran and Rehman have requested that the media respect their privacy and avoid speculation,” Haq said.
Haq refused to give reasons for the divorce but according to Haq’s close associates, Imran was not happy with Reham meddling in political affairs.
A source close to the PTI chairman, who asked not to be named, said the two were “just not getting along.”
“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,” he told Dawn.com.
“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.”
Despite several attempts, Reham could not be reached for a comment, but she posted an announcement of the divorce on Twitter: ‘We have decided to part ways and file for divorce.’
Reham has left Pakistan for London and is expected to address a conference there.
Khan’s divorce with Reham has not come as a surprise to many as the two were reportedly living apart.
Sources aware of the development said Reham disliked Jemima who remains in touch with Imran because of their sons and takes keen interest in his political career and matters related to the Shaukat Khanum Cancer hospital.
“The family of Imran, particularly his sister Aleema Khan who is close to him, were also never happy with the second marriage,” the sources said.
It was also Reham’s second marriage. She was previously married to psychologist Ijaz Rehman, with whom she had three children.
Reham once worked for BBC and she also hosts a talk show on a local television.
Earlier in August this year, Imran had announced that Reham will not be playing an active role in party affairs, following “attacks” on his then wife in the aftermath of the party’s defeat in by-elections.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked party leaders to refrain from commenting on Imran’s personal life.
The announcement Friday stirred a fiery debate on social media, with fans and naysayers of both Imran and Reham posting their two cents and taking sides.