Divorce with Reham Khan could Damage Imran Khan’s Political Career

mohsin-dawar-1428848987-3945The marriage had brought a very prominent change in the attitude of the PTI chief. Reham motivated him to focus on Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa, the only province that voted his party into office.

Political system in Pakistan is passing through transitional stages, but with the passage of time the main political strata have determined their nuclei. Punjab has been made a nucleus by the PML-N, while PPP and MQM remain focused on Sindh, ANP stands for KP and PAMAP and some Baloch dominated parties remain closer to their traditional dominant areas on ethnic bases in Baluchistan. The question of a permanent nucleus for the new emerging party of Imran Khan was only solved when he married a Pashtun woman who hails from Swat and Buffa. This marriage with a journalist provided a strong nucleus to Imran Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Punjabi political and corporate elite, holding key offices in the party, were not happy about the idea of Imran’s legacy being transferred to a lady who could assert and prove her metal in the field of politics. Reham Khan was conceiving different projects in KP on her own. She was assimilating the party in Pakhtoon norms and traditions, like for instance condoling the death of a common uncommon professor Rajwali Shah Khattak and so many other local celebrities. She planned to produce a movie on Khushal Khan Khatak and flourished her movie Janan with the poetry of Ghani Khan. All these steps taken by Reham were molding the opinions of many progressive people known to me.

Unfortunately some of our celebrities lack one thing and that is keeping their families intact for a longer period of time and Imran Khan is no exception. Even in the developed world, the leader’s character is gauged and rated from their family life. Bill Clinton was given a hard time by the American people and press when his relations with Monica Lewinsky were leaked. Obama always keeps his wife Michelle near his arms to provide a sense of strong commitment to his family, because he knows American people shall get a sense of commitment to the people’s cause through that.

Not only does the divorce indicate that Imran Khan cannot live a domesticated life for very long, and that his playboy days are far from over, but it also means that he is a man who either is too weak to honour his commitment because of external pressure, or that he is indeed prone to breaking promises, further reinforcing the label of U-Turn Khan.

It might be a nightmare for his workers if under the compulsions of his inconsistent instincts Imran Khan divorced his political idealism at any juncture of time as he did with his matrimonial life time and time again.

We can understand his stance when Imran used to say that his marriage with Jemima couldn’t sustain itself because of his political engagements in Pakistan. This viewpoint was generally accepted by the workers across the board. But the second divorce is a paradox of Imran’s first notion because Reham Khan was accompanying him in his field. She recently said categorically that she would have helped Imran had his profession even been dentistry.

Secondly, Imran has for the very first time attracted the youth, especially the female community, to politics, but the divorce of their ambassador Reham Khan has badly discouraged them. The echo of Reham can still be heard in the PTI philanthropy work. At the inauguration ceremony of the Zamong Kor project, which is specific for the rehabilitation of the street children here in Peshawar on 20th of this month, Imran himself was forced to acknowledge her achievement and advised the provincial government to consult Reham for the project’s smooth running.

The fact is that Reham didn’t just conceive Zamong Kor, she spent hours designing and supervising each room physically on the site. She had found sponsors for everything from the furniture to the sporting academies she had planned to set up. To avoid criticism she made sure that she would only remain as one of the volunteers and unlike Imran’s family, who are on the boards of his philanthropic initiatives, she did not hog the board that would run the institution. Instead she chose to bring forward those names who had proved their commitment to children’s welfare.

I have witnessed myself how she stood for the IDPs of Waziristan. Along with other relief activities, she also facilitated us in establishing Bacha Khan Education Academy a free education center for the IDPs of North Waziristan. Her services were highly acknowledged by the IDPs and for that the local IDPs committee awarded her with a souvenir of thanks.

A group of some civil society activists from Pukhtoonkhwa were impressed by her knowledge and commitment when they met her at Bani Gala to brief Imran Khan to stand against the change in route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). She very quickly got the essence of the argument as she was already supporting the campaign on social media against change in CPEC. It was nothing short of a miracle for us when Imran promised to take a firm stand on this issue, which he did. This, I guess, was because of the motivation and advocacy of Reham Khan, because it was the same Imran Khan who at times had strongly supported the formation of Kalabagh Dam, another controversial project rejected by smaller provinces.

The philanthropic resemblance with Imran Khan was what convinced her to marry Imran Khan when he proposed to her. Her marriage with Imran Khan brought a very prominent change in the attitude of the PTI chief. She motivated him to focus on Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa, the only province that voted his party into office.

The former chairman election board of PTI Justice(R) Wajeehudin rightly said that the party is being hijacked by the paratroopers and I fear these moves are still in progress. Imran may soon realize this gap but as time and tides waits for no man, Imran’s sense of loss may lead the nation to chaos.

But who would be the villain of this story? That will remain a mystery until Imran or Reham decides to unveil it.

Writer: Mohsin Dawar

The writer is a practicing lawyer, political and social activist. Follow him on Twitter

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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