Imran Khan married Bushra Manekea in Lahore on Sunday. His first marriage was with Jemima Goldsmith, daughter of a British billionaire, in 1995, and the second one with TV anchor Reham Khan in 2015.
Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has announced his third marriage to Bushra Maneka, a ‘pir’ or faith healer, in Lahore on Sunday, with his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party releasing pictures of the ‘nikaah’ ceremony.
Khan, 65, had been visiting Bushra, also known as Pinki Pir, to seek spiritual guidance after meeting her a couple of years ago, media reports have said.
The photos of the ceremony showed Khan, clad simply in a dark blazer and white shalwar-kameez, sitting on a sofa next to Bushra, who was covered from head to toe by a veil, with only her eyes visible. Several others, including PTI leaders Awn Chaudhry and Zulfi Bukhari, were present.
PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhary said Khan got married with Maneka in “a simple ceremony” held at the home of the bride’s brother. Bushra’s mother and other family members and friends joined the ceremony. Khan’s sisters did not attend, media reports said.
Mufti Muhammed Saeed performed the ‘nikaah’ and Awn Chaudhary and Zulfi Bukhari were the witnesses. The ceremony was low-profile in keeping with Khan’s wishes, PTI leader Inamul Haq said.
A statement issued by the PTI on Sunday night said: “Marriage is the combination of two hearts and two souls, which join each other on this special day of the wedding. Wishing (the couple) a very happy and blessed married life.”
Haq expressed hope that Khan’s marriage “would prove blessed not only for him and his wife but for the entire nation”, Dawn News reported.
PTI leaders such as Shireen Mazari, Jahangir Tareen and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi congratulated Khan and his new wife on Twitter.
Bushra is in her 40s and belongs to the Wattoo clan, of which the Manekas are a sub-clan. She was earlier married to Khawar Farid Maneka, a senior customs official but the couple divorced some months ago.
Khan first tied the knot with British socialite Jemima Khan in May 1995. The union ended in divorce in June 2004 after the couple had two sons. His January 2015 marriage to TV anchor Reham Khan ended in divorce in 10 months.
He had said in a 2016 interview with Hindustan Times that he would not give up the idea of marrying again. “It’s not in my blood to give up. But it takes a lot…(the idea of marriage) is even more open than before. But marrying at 60 is not like marrying at 30,” Khan had said.
The News daily had reported last month that Khan had married for the third time in a secret ceremony on January 1. The PTI denied the report and Khan said he had only proposed marriage to Bushra.
Khan also said Bushra had sought some time to consult her family, especially her children. He had also stressed the need for restraint, asking the media to “give the two families, especially the children, their privacy”.
Local media reports said that over the past few years, Khan had quietly been visiting a remote town in Sahiwal of Punjab province where he stayed at the residence of his hosts, who belong to the influential Maneka clan.
The reports suggested that Khan had met there with Bushra for spiritual advice.