Wednesday, 17 August, 2022
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Dear Pakistani media, you picked on the wrong woman this time, writes Reham Khan

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If the entire PTI goes into meltdown in Pakistan at the mere threat of a book, how will they cope with an attack by the enemy on the borders?

One fine morning, the Pakistani media announced that I was to be married. And then, the following year, the same media announced that I was about to be divorced.

The TV channels had described the new wife of a celebrity politician as a divorced mother of three. I was vaguely miffed at the time that this was the only descriptive feature they could find, but I dismissed it.

For months, announcements were made on my behalf and appearances booked without consulting me. Even my divorce was announced by a political party spokesperson.

That was then. This is 2018.

No longer am I the wife of a politician. I am not any man’s private property anymore. I am a free woman.

Or so I thought.

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up to the news that a TV actor had had the unfortunate experience of reading my manuscript. My first reaction was: How? The second was to check if my closest friends and family had also read the so-called manuscript.

Then the realisation sank in that, in our society, a woman’s rights can be violated, and attempts to control her continue, even after she leaves the stifling institution of marriage. I wanted to shout it out loud, that you have lost the right to tell me what to say on your behalf. But instead, I watched with mirth the unfolding comedy of Shakespearean proportions playing out on Pakistani national TV and social media.

The buffoonery that followed was further evidence that we must not unthinkingly hand over the reins of the only Muslim nuclear-armed country. If the entire Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI, the party led by Imran Khan, who was once married to the author) goes into meltdown at the mere threat of a book, how will they cope with an attack by the enemy on the borders?

With this episode, the PTI exposed their lack of strategic thinking under pressure and general incompetence, and resorted to vicious trolling. I felt a touch of pity for those who had invested so many years and serious dollars into building the facade of ‘change’.

The sympathy was quickly replaced by the realisation that the handlers were as clueless as their so-called ‘hero’. An experienced punter puts his money on a race horse only after reviewing past performances. Here, the logic is baffling.

Night after night, I watched hapless TV and music personalities abuse me with the help of government-hopefuls. They said I was out to defame them all with my shocking disclosures. My conviction only strengthened. Hearing their outrageous lies, I was re-invigorated by the realisation that the time had come for me to become an example to women and men across the nation to stand up to these bullies. This was just the motivation I needed.

It was downright hilarious to hear apparently grown men cry for mummy on primetime television.

[So, here is what happened. Actor Hamza Ali Abbasi said, “Reham has defamed me by calling me gay in her book.”

Reham said there was no book at the minute. So how could she be defaming him if nothing had been published? If anyone has made this public, it is Hamza himself.]

The question is simple. Suppose I wrote something abusive about you in my diary and you claimed you knew what I wrote. Firstly, you would need to explain how you read it. Did you break into my bedroom and look into my diary? Is this not a break-in and theft? And, if it has not been made public, how can it be defamatory?

Since it has been broadcast by you, aren’t you the reason the information is in the public domain?

I knew that I knew too much but now they have demonstrated to the world that they are petrified of the content of this book. It has increased the intrigue of the reader. Why do they not want you to read the book?

The age-old trend of vilifying the woman did not work this time, partly because they picked on the wrong woman this time — a woman who is proudly defiant and fiercely independent.

Their main line of defence, that this kind of revelation and language doesn’t befit a lady, is not only shoddy but also outrageously misogynistic. Who decides what a woman should speak of and how? A party that is stuck in the dark ages and wants complete submission and subordination of women has no place in 2018.

People are naturally concerned about the character assassination and death threats sent to me. Well-wishers worry about my emotional health and many urge me not to pick a fight with the biggest mafia in town. They tell me to avoid becoming controversial because it will affect my future career prospects as well as suitable matches for my daughters.

My response is that I am ruled by the heart and not by material gains. As for my girls, they are in no rush to make the same mistakes their mother did, so the uncles needn’t lose any sleep over it. I feel that this is an opportunity to set an example for both the women and the men who are told to play it safe to conform to what society dictates.

I dare to be different and that petrifies them.

A fearless opponent is impossible to defeat.

Reham Khan is a journalist, child rights activist, and single parent in Pakistan.

पढ़ें हिंदी में: पाकिस्तानी मीडिया ने इस बार गलत महिला से मोल लिया है पंगा – रेहम खान

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  1. Aek Akeli aorat aur hazaro kutay os key bechay.Kitab abhi publish bhi nahi huvi.Aek kitab sambhali nahi ja rahi,mulk kiya khak sambhalengay yay.

  2. Let the dogs bark. It’s their kind. They follow their gang leader IK. Don’t be afraid to bring the truth out. Allah is with you so no worries.

  3. Wow ! Refreshingly rebellious & ribald in a mundane self contented inert world.
    Reham hope ur unusual aggressive independent position will inspire society at large to break the real and imaginary shackles and get up and take a stand…when it matters!Hats off!!

  4. I really appreciate and respect her stance.Before this Mustafa Khar PTI leader farmer wife and Shahbas Sharif wife Tahmina had also written a book my FEUDAL LORD. It was really great and now eagerly waiting to read Reham khan book too.

  5. Why do YOU have to explain yourself to the people of Pakistan and also self praise and proclaim yourself to be all that you are saying . Don’t you have a reputation of your own? And if yes , is it questionable???
    If you think that IK or the PTI is ganging up against the poor woman then it is again a story made by you. It is infact 90% of the Pakistanis and people internationally who question your credibility. IK is a far bigger name and more people have interacted with him and have good things to say about him, whereas you prob have had an interaction with less than half and generally people don’t talk good about you.
    So please STOP portraying yourself portraying be a warrior who is just and right , it only makes you look foolish . The Buffoonery is created by you here my dear.

  6. Forget everything. her basic right to write this cannot be taken away. If actually Imran Khan is a homosexual and a cocaine addict, then a wife has a right to feel cheated. Mr Khan is wrong to have hidden this. His cocaine addiction makes him unfit to be the Prime MInister also

    • @Pervez Ahmed: So a women, of proven low character, low substance, with no credibility or standing in society says something and you believe her?

      It is NOT her basic right to tarnish others while trying to enrich and aggrandise herself.

      It is NOT her basic right to disclose any personal pecadillo that she was witness to in her most intimate moments as a wife.

      It is NOT her basic right to indulge in a smear campaign on the behest of a corrupt PMLN for personal gain ($$$ and fame).

      It is NOT her basic right to use the VICTOM CARD for promoting her own self interests at the cost of others.

      I could go on and on.

      So please Mr. Ahmed – understand her motives rather than trying to lean on universal jurisprudence to support her unholy scheme.

  7. The whole issue looks to be clandestinely stage managed particularly in view of forthcoming General Elections in Pakistan and mr. Imran Kan Looks to be all set to become next Prime Minister. This is subject to Imran Khan not scoring self goals more than what he can score against his opponents !
    Mr. Hamza & Ms Reham Khan primarily looks to be in collusion to rip the benefits likely to be showered by a yet to be published books by later ! Another player ( The lady claiming fatherhood of Imran Khan to her daughter) must be being wooed to join this bandwagon ! Through the so called leaks of this book Mr. Imran Khan is being portrayed as pro-extremist and being maligned so that voters will be disillusioned and his vote share dropped drastically!
    Pakistan as a Nation and it’s people looks to be passing through a bad patch of their luck. Mr. Khan looks to be the last hope for this country ravaged by extremism, war mongering Army, terribly corrupt politicians, shattered economy and breakdown of Departments looking after health education, electricity and Foreign policy.

  8. Clearly a political stunt. She got diviorced in 2015. Why did she renember all this in 2018? Just before the elections. Simple. The noora league know pti is strong this time and they decide to bribe reham to bring up a scandal. Wow if pti is a mafia then what is pmln? Not less than the goug and maug i would say

  9. All is what she said, is playing a woman card and proving herslf as a victim.
    moreover she didnt deny allegations on Hamza regardless of the validity of the allegation

  10. Ohoooo
    Great ability
    Look how she glorified herself
    You the woman not living in jungle dear
    Society has norms, morals and rules
    If every one become free spirited no one can live on Earth

  11. Sorry to say,the reasons Ms. Rehan has quoted which drove her to do whatever she plans to do are absolutely weak and show no serious commitment of any kind to the women’s cause (which she says she wants to emphasise) …on the other hand ,the book seems like a cheap version of tabloid! One can find many of such books in this world..unfortunately they come and go,without leaving the wished impact,I am sure this will prove the same kind of written material!

  12. A cheap narcissistic publicist at best. Considering that IK has never uttered a word against her in public, it does’nt take rocket science to figure out who rests at the higher moral pedestal here & who is more courageous. It takes great strength to stay quiet & calm when your ex- spouse chooses to shamelessly flounder your integrity under some misperceived notion of feminism that seemingly assumes defaming others as a form of empowerment. A cheap publicist!

  13. The same woman card being used by the writer .but what about those women about whom you have written so much filth .aren’t they respectable.secondly if hamza has stolen your script ,you had also stolen Ik phone

  14. Stop being a self-praising horse and kindly explain why no publisher in UK is ready to publish your book? Yeh Reham Zadgi se kaam lena band karein.

    • shame that a woman is using such a language for another woman.If your husband keep a woman for spiritual advise in his home and inreality is fucki…ng around and having an affair with her.How would you feel.And than divorced her over a text message and used her like a tissue.You guys expect her to keep quite on all this.Also having homosexual husbands is the problem of many pakistani women but no one can dare to open their mouth because all society especially women like you come out to torn them.

  15. She has not denied the allegations. She has wrote disgustingly about Wasim Akram’s deceased wife. Wow and she waits 3 years after her divorce to write a book that is meant to be an autobiography but its more about other people. She herslf has admitted stealing Imran Khans’ Black berry and she is the one that’s a victim and angel. Always plays the feminist card. Always the victim. Imran Khan has not uttered a bad word about Reham, infact one journalist spoke badly about his ex-wife and Imran went berserk at the journalist. Reham has been given 4 homes in London (by the PMLN party to write this book), a car and a private education for her youngest daughter. She has 3 homes on rent and lives herself in the fouth one. She never has to work again. she can live a life of luxury thanks to Nawaz Sharif. when she discovered that her book cannot and will not be published she leaked it deliberately. Very clever, evil woman. Sadly, money comes and goes, but her image will be tarnished forever. this is something she and her children will bare the brunt of in the future – which will not be so rosy.

  16. Ofciurse, Reham has every right to speak her mind and make any statement which can generally be made in the public domain.
    Our society, or rather the whole world has been a patriarchal society where women always played second fiddle or no fiddle at all.
    However, I have a personal rule that on issues where one is involved in a situation or issue with one or more than on person than one has a limited right to go public to the extent of one’s percentage involvement but matters of serious public intersts can override this rule.
    IK may have great responsibilities and he was truly accepted as a progressive force but he has moved even more to the right than Nawaz Sharif. He may really loose votes on a number of grounds and Asif Zardari will nominate the P. M. with the support of PMLN, MQM, ANP, MMA and other smaller parties.
    Reham is right when she says all the above. The book has not been published yet so what is the worry.

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