PTI spokesman urges media to avoid speculation, adding there will be no additional comments on the matter.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and Reham Khan have divorced with “mutual consent” after 295 days of marriage, according to a party spokesman.
“The divorce was finalized early this morning or late last night, after which Reham Khan left for Birmingham,” Naeemul Haq, the party’s central information secretary, told Newsweek. “The divorce was decided by mutual consent.”
Due to the sensitivity and seriousness of this extremely painful and personal matter, says Haq, media should refrain from any speculation. “The party and its chairman will not be offering the media any additional comments,” he added.
“We all know that there’s been trouble for the last two months,” a PTI worker, requesting anonymity, told Newsweek, “Naeemul Haq sent us a statement on Whatsapp this morning.” He claimed most of the party supported the decision. “To be honest most people will be happy not to deal with her anymore. Generally, she had a lot of issues with everyone.”
One of Imran Khan’s friends, speaking to Newsweek on condition of anonymity, said the couple’s marital problems had been common knowledge for a few months now. “But Imran Khan is the kind of guy who, when he takes a decision, he takes it to the limit,” he said. He said Khan’s family had refused to accept Reham, adding pressure on the couple. “His sisters were not happy with it [marriage]. His sisters have not even met Reham Khan since they got married, not once.”
Imran Khan, 62, tied the knot with Reham Khan, 42, on Jan. 8 after weeks of speculation about their marriage on social media. The marriage was the second for both. Imran was previously married to British heiress Jemima Goldsmith from 1995 to 2004 and has two sons, while Reham was married to Dr. Ijaz Rehman from 1993 to 2005 and has three children.
The announcement comes a day ahead of local government elections in Punjab and Sindh, where Khan’s PTI is expected to give the ruling PMLN a tough run. Haq denies the timing of the news will have any bearing on poll results. “This has nothing to do with politics,” he says, “The media should not link this to the elections.”
Hours after landing in Brimingham, to attend a two-day conference, Reham Khan confirmed the news on Twitter. “We have decided to part ways and file for divorce,” she said. A few minutes later, Imran Khan also tweeted confirmation of the news. “This is a painful time for me & Reham & our families. I would request everyone to respect our privacy.”