Amid speculation over the reasons for her divorce with Imran Khan, Reham Khan has said nobody but they themselves were responsible for it as she lamented that everyone had a say in her married life and she felt the whole of Pakistan was her “susral”.
Writing in the Guardian, Reham said that even marrying “the strongest man in the land” could not protect her from a “barrage of abuse”.
She said a poor, uneducated woman and she were both vulnerable to the same risks — “any man can throw mud at you, can abuse you, can call your character into question and get away with it without having to prove anything.”
42-year-old Reham said that even though a lot of people were being blamed for the break-up of her marriage with Imran, it was they themselves who were responsible for the divorce.
“A bond that is strong can withstand any attack, rumour or pressure. It was no one but us who were responsible for the relationship’s breakdown. We are both mature adults who, between us, have an accumulated wisdom of more than a hundred years. It happened because we allowed it to happen,” Reham said, clearing the air over her divorce.
“Conjecture about what the reason was, who was behind it and when it was triggered is pointless,” she wrote in the British daily.
The Pakistani cricket legend-turned-politician and the TV journalist announced their decision to split on October 30 amid reports that Imran objected to her meddling in politics.
She said marrying the man most people were accustomed to seeing as the country’s foremost bachelor compounded the problem further.
“Women in our society generally complain of an interfering mother-in-law or sister-in-law, but being the national bhabi (sister-in-law), meant the whole country was my susral (in-laws); it meant everyone had a say,” she said.
62-year-old Imran’s marriage in January to Reham was his second after his first marriage with English heiress Jemima Goldsmith for nine years ended in divorce in June, 2004.
Reham left a job on regional BBC news and moved back to Pakistan in 2013.
Reham said that she felt more secure and protected when she was unmarried.
“I went and got married to the strongest man in the land, idolised by millions, only to face a barrage of abuse. In the end, being Mrs Imran Khan couldn’t protect me. Even the divorce announcement couldn’t stop the hate campaign waged in the press to demolish my character,” Reham said.
She slammed the media for running a vicious campaign against her since the news of her marriage to Imran broke.
“I was described by the media as a divorced mother-of- three while, unsurprisingly, my husband’s previous marriage to Jemima Goldsmith was not discussed,” Reham said.
“I watched in dismay how the media spared no personal details to feed their bulletins,” she said.