New Delhi: With barely days left for elections in Pakistan, PTI leader Imran Khan seems to have fresh trouble on his hands.
Months after excerpts from her manuscript were leaked, Imran’s former wife Reham Khan’s book finally came out on Thursday. Reham writes in depth about her 10-month marriage, detailing the political atmosphere and the leaders in Pakistan at that point.
Interestingly, she also writes about how Imran would talk often about his future as the Prime Minister of Pakistan and how she would give him the example of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who she claimed was voted to power despite having "radical" views.
Reham Khan alleges that Imran Khan was a free-loader, one who abused politicians. She writes how vegetables and other food items were “never bought” and were gifts by various leaders, including Jahangir Tareen, Tariq Fazal Chaudhary.
Further, she also writes about how Imran never paid heed to several claims of corruption in the system. One such instance was when PTI leader Azam Swati was accused of nepotism in over 500 applications in Hazara University.
She also mentions how Imran had asked her to bid for the timber that the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government had confiscated as part of a crackdown on timber mafia. “One day, he enquired why the doors were not all finished. I lamented how costly the wood was. I had already bought two rather expensive carpets out of my own money. But he insisted that I should order them all right away, and if I needed solid wood, he could just get it from the timber they had confiscated. I stopped dead in my tracks. Was my husband and leader saying that his wife could get illegal, confiscated timber by sending her own people for the bidding?” she writes.
The book further claims that Imran had made it clear “that he would not allow anyone to raise the issues of corruption of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, the monetary benefits JKT received under his government, or even Asad Omar's newly introduced disastrous PEDO.”
With regards to PEDO, the energy organisation that was renamed from SHDO, Reham makes startling claims of how corrupt the functioning was. Under Omar, PEDO involved privatisation of the hydel projects to PTI favourites or “cronies” as she writes at very low prices.
“Thereafter, the government would be deprived of all revenue from the projects they had started, besides the small benefit from the water usage charges. And PTI were free to run them as they liked, and potentially even sell them back to the government at a loss after leeching the businesses of all profit. In one case, 6 billion rupees were spent on approximately 200 small-scale 5KW to 50KW projects, which is the equivalent of spending $54 million on the distribution of a few hundred simple solar panels. So, the pertinent question was simply this: Where did all that money go? In other words, PTI appeared to be abusing their power as a provincial government by fast tracking projects with ‘potential’ and subtly privatising them. In doing so, they were effectively handing themselves significant investment and capital, and stealing streams of present and future income from existing government budgets,” the book claims.
The Black Magic
Reham Khan narrates an incident wherein she allegedly saw the PTI leader rubbing black lentils all over his naked body to “ward off a curse”.
Reham Khan makes startling revelations about Imran’s alleged drug addiction. She writes that she had caught her husband red-handed snorting coke in their bathroom. While he allegedly assured her that she need not worry about his drug problem, she claims that the habit never stopped.
She also writes about how he used a mouth guard to stop his teeth from clenching due to the effects of coke. He also did heroin, the book claims. She further writes that Imran had possession of all sorts of tranquillisers, mainly benzodiazepines like Xanax and Lexotanil and also the banned Rohypnol.
She also mentions that the former cricketer could not remember the things he said because of the high amount of drugs he did and the coke he allegedly snorted.
She narrates an incident where, during Ramzan, Imran allegedly told Sahir (Reham’s eldest son) that he was a confused atheist. The PTI leader, however, did not remember the comment the next day.
“The typical day’s cocktail would generally consist of half an ecstasy tablet and one or two lumps of coke, followed by two to three sedatives at night. It wasn't until the last month that he started hiding the dispenser in his jacket pockets… It appeared that Imran was doing about six grams a night,” the book claims.
The Sexual Encounters
Reham claims that her ex-husband engaged in gay encounters. Naming his close friend, Moby, she states that the men were in a “live-in relationship” despite the latter being married. She also mentions how she allegedly found empty cigar cases and huge tubes of KY jelly on Imran Khan’s bedside table.
When quizzed about it, Imran said the lubricant and the metal cases were used together. “His ‘preferences’ became clear. My look of horror produced peals of laughter from my sexually liberated husband,” she writes.
Another shocking revelation that the book makes is Imran’s alleged sexual encounters with many women leaders in PTI. She claims that she read explicit messages from Andaleeb Abbas and Uzma Kardar. The book claims that her husband dismissed her concerns citing various reasons, including calling Andaleeb an alcoholic.
“These women were regular offenders. Uzma Kardar was not only in the habit of regularly sending him images of her genitalia but would force her way in to stand or sit next to him, even in my presence. I dismissed her as a disturbed woman. She had warned me in person at Aleem Khan’s house, right at the start of the year, that I should put up with it since they were not going to back off,” the book states.
Reham further claims that several women in the party would boast (to Imran) about the number of men they had sexual encounters with. His alleged penchant for ‘sexting’, the book claims, was well known in Lahori circles.
She also writes about how Imran allegedly boasted about a threesome with famous singer Grace Jones. “He would revisit these fantasies, describing his alleged threesomes with the black singer and a famous model-wife of a rock star back in the eighties,” the book states.
The Illegitimate Children
Reham Khan hints about a conversation that she had with her ex-husband regarding Tyrian White, his alleged daughter with Sita White. Imran allegedly told her that Tyrian was not the only one and that he had five other illegitimate children “that he knew of”. Other than her, the book claims that only Jemima Goldsmith, Imran’s first wife, was aware of the “illegitimate” children.
The book also claims that Imran Khan told his then wife that a few of the women he had children with are married Indian women who were thrilled to have the child since they couldn’t otherwise in their marriage. Imran is also alleged to have said that the eldest child was 34 years old.
Jemima Goldsmith and Imran Khan were married for nine years from 1995-2004. They share two sons. In her book, Reham writes that more than the Sharif family, it was Jemima who was damaging Imran’s politics.
Reham Khan also goes on to write that Imran regretted marrying Jemima. “You know, I cried on the night of our wedding reception when I got married to Jemima…Jemima had a few drinks at the reception, and passed out. I cried myself to sleep,” Reham quotes Imran as allegedly saying. Further, the book also claims that Jemima had a bad temper and that Imran used to physically abuse her.
Further, she also writes about an episode where he told her how in Worcestershire, while he doing his A levels, a 12-year-old boy had forced himself on a then 18-year-old Imran.
“She had this dreadful temper, throwing things at me when she would get angry. Once, she tried to trip me over with her leg. Another time, she threw a phone at me. Once, she wouldn’t stop swearing at me and I slapped her across the face. She went crying to her brother, who in turn told her to apologise to me. I wanted to divorce her right there and then but Annabelle (Jemima’s mother) talked me out of it. Another time, as she became aggressive with me, I lifted my hand in self-defence and broke her arm. She was walking around with her arm in a plaster after that,” the book quotes Imran as saying.
Further, the book also claims that Imran Khan forced a young girl to abort her pregnancy. While Imran had refuted the allegations in public, Reham claims that he did indeed tell her that it was the truth. Reham also writes about a sexual encounter between Imran and a transgender dancer.
Reham writes in her book that senior PTI leader Pervez Khattar was addicted to marijuana. “The most common rumour in PTI circles was of the Chief Minister's fondness for weed…. I only saw that the Chief Minister wouldn't eat much, but couldn't stop heaping sugar into his tea. When I shared the gossip of the ‘Charsi’ nickname the CM had earned and asked if it was true, Imran merely giggled in agreement,” she writes.
Using Media for Propaganda
The freedom of media in Pakistan is something that has been debated upon by many. In her book, Reham claims that her former husband had influence of several leading media houses in the country. Even in the organisations that he boycotted, there were “plants” who served as pro-PTI voices. His “friends” in the media include Tahir A Khan of News One to Zafar Siddiqui of Samaa, the book claimed.
The book also claims that the head of Pakistan’s only media ratings agency Medialogic, Salman Danish, was a permanent fixture at Bani Gala, as were heads of mega advertising agencies, like Inam Akbar.
“It was a new kind of fascism where the corporate power is a collaborator. This was the skipper’s team; the media as propaganda arm of PTI, meant to further its agenda and cover up its failings. And the receivers lapped it all up,” she writes.