Imran Khan
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party chief Imran Khan sits with his spiritual guide and third wife Bushra Maneka in Lahore on Sunday evening | PTI
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It seems unlikely that marrying Bushra Manika has put Imran Khan on the road to Prime Minister House.

Imran Khan’s party announced Sunday that Imran Khan has married his spiritual faith healer Bushra Manika aka Pinki Pirni. The pictures produced in the media showed a beaming Imran Khan with a fully veiled woman along with the Nikah Khawan (the officiator of the wedding) and the witnesses.

What is interesting though is that Pakistani journalist Umar Cheema got the details right down to the last dot in his story right after New Year’s day when he claimed that Imran Khan got married again. There were furious denials amidst which Imran Khan’s party put out an official statement denying that any such marriage had taken place. Soon afterwards, the ex-husband got on the television and declared that his ex-wife was the purest of the pure and that there was no reason to suspect any relationship between her and Imran.

The truth is stranger than fiction. As a born again Muslim in the sufi tradition, Imran Khan is a deeply religious and superstitious type even if his antics as a notorious playboy are sometimes in conflict with that reality. This means he is susceptible to all sorts of manipulation and suggestion. For years now, his spiritual advisors have been telling him what to do and what not to do in order to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Bushra Manika, better known as Pinki Pirni, is the latest of these advisors. She was married to a civil servant Khawar Fareed Manika who had a bit of reputation when it came to corruption but he and his wife became devotees to the Sufi Saint Baba Farid Ganj Baksh. A couple of years ago, she is rumored to have tried to hitch up Imran Khan with her sister but that did not work out. Reham Khan, the dignified former wife of Khan who was married for precisely one year, swears by the fact that her marriage was sabotaged by Pinki Pirni. The dogged insistence by Imran Khan that he should both marry and divorce Reham on 31 October seems to lend credence to this.

The story then goes, and it remains unchallenged by the Manikas, is that Pinki Pirni is said to have had a dream where the most holy personage in Islam told her that for Imran Khan to be Prime Minister, she must marry him and if she does, both Pakistan and Islam will truly prosper. Pinki Pirni then narrated this to her husband who agreed to give her a divorce for the sake of the cause of Islam in Pakistan. They divorced in November 2017 citing spiritual reasons as cause. Her son Musa Manika on TV repeatedly confirmed that the divorce happened strictly on orders from “Allah and his Messenger”. Apparently Pinki Pirni has a direct line to the divine realm.

There are several issues that any Pakistani concerned about Pakistan and its well-being should take with this state of affairs. Imran Khan very much sees himself as the Prime Minister-in-waiting. Those of us who have met him know that he refers to him as precisely that without mincing any words. Yet he is apparently driven by spiritual counsel from people who very much seem to be frauds and scam artists. This speaks volumes about his ability to choose people and puts a big question mark on his ability to lead. He was always a jock but in recent years he seems to have lost his marbles altogether. Unlike the seasoned politicians in PML-N, PPP and other parties, all his moves are impulsive bordering on irrational. We now know the reason behind his irrational impulsiveness.

Secondly, contrary to the image of him as an honest politician who was given the certificate of Sadiq and Ameen by an eager Supreme Court out to promote its “ladla” as Nawaz Sharif calls him, Imran Khan clearly lied about the precise timing of his marriage. Unless the journalist Umar Cheema is some sort of super pir or soothsayer, there is no way the marriage took place this past Sunday. It is almost a certainty that the marriage took place at the beginning of the year just as Cheema said it did. Reham Khan has also claimed on several occasions that even her marriage was kept secret for three months.

Apparently Imran Khan waits for some sort of sign to make these announcements. Some people may call it spirituality but it has no basis in the legalistic and formalistic nature of the religion of Islam. On the contrary, this desire to seek signs seems more like a mental illness.

Whatever the case, it is clear that in one stroke Imran Khan has managed to alienate several sections amongst his supporters. The “burger” class amongst his supporters is not happy that he married a woman who is dressed in a shuttlecock burqah. Many feel betrayed that Imran Khan has chosen to engage in a personal controversy instead of focusing on the task ahead. The more extreme religious wing of his party, comprising the straitjacket Deobandis who he has been coddling up to, are in any event allergic to Sufism. It seems unlikely that marrying Bushra Manika has put Imran Khan on the road to Prime Minister House.

Yasser Latif Hamdani is a lawyer and a visiting fellow at Harvard Law School.

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59 Comments Share Your Views

59 COMMENTS

  1. Imran Khan may have his flaws foremost among them being his appeal to the Army and its subordinate Supreme Court to distort (destroy) democracy in Pakistan but this guy YLH has produced a hate filled bigoted article because people’s beliefs do not fit in with his own. Most of Pakistan does not agree with YLH or his belief system so cultural condemnation can be both ways especially since he legitimizes his own beliefs, irrational and stupid as they might sound to those of another culture based on Western values and sensibilities. Western values and sensibilities (read colonization) did more harm to Pakistan (historically as part of India and even currently) than Sufi beliefs or choice of marriage partner.

  2. Dot on, Harvard man! Pretty realistic piece. One thing however has been missed. Pakistani generals are hellbent to sideline the populast, and majority leader Nawaz Sharif, and have planned to instal this puppet Imran in his place, who suiting their plans does not know his elbow from his ass. A sad state of affairs in that country that the boots wouldn’t let democracy take roots.

  3. If to the writer, Reham Khan appears as “the dignified former wife of Khan” then no more need to be said about the jaundiced vision of the writer.

  4. And so the dream of Pinki Pirni was also seen by a journalist or now journalists like you write articles on someone’s dreams !
    Wow how low can you get and how low the publisher.
    Next you will write about dreams of Reham Khan. Or any other politicians and their personal life. ?

  5. ln this country it politics is a circus and jounalism a joke, Imran would have stayed away from this puddle of gutter water, but now since he is in it so obviously he would stink, as far as the rest are concerned they are filthy to the core.

  6. People tahought of IK as a forward looking, educated leader but unfortunately, he has always been supportive of older system of justice in tribal areas, like “Jirga”, well wisher of Taliban (Rather he was nominated by Taliban to represent them in talks with Gov before action by Army) and now following this female “spiritual leader” whose mental status needs to be evaluated.
    A nation can’t be lead on whims of someone’s spiritual revelations!
    He would have earned more respect, like Eidhi if had continued with his welfare work!

  7. To have sex without Nikah at your Farmhouses is sounds good but for libidos to Have a Nikah is Mental Illness. The irony is pathetically laughable.

  8. ہوس کو نشاط کار کیا کیا
    Philander with irrational fits and a proved sesualist.A stigma! A laday of 5 childern with
    two married now playing an ill- game in the pen of an old cock.Shame on both of them.

  9. Critical comments are made about Imran Khan marriage with a political motive. He has been expressing his desire for marriage since long time. He has attempted to settle in a family life but has failed earlier. I pray for his happy married life.I hope that others also wish him same instead making him a target.

  10. The article is quite factual and balanced.I fully appreciate the writer and agree with the contents therein.
    Imran is pseudo character as his clan belongs to Naizi tribe.Therefore, he is a liar and deceiver ab initio.
    It is unislamic to hide one’s caste and adopt a false one.It is a sin which is attached with him since long.He is not a simple muslim in charater as he never prayes or observe fasting.He is unnecessarily given a starhood by only defeated forces.His engagement in politics is strengthened by his supporters who are hooligans and themselves morally corrupted.Regarding his marriage on the notion of Sufisim is nothing but a polished fornication.At 66 he is like a stud to quench his lust rather than suffice the purpose of a real marriage.He is therefore ایک بدنر اور ناز

  11. Rubbishly written with full of hates. All those who had done corruption in there lifes are against Imran Khan, they are internally scared that if he came into power he will catch us too, so get against him.
    Insha Allah you will be answerable on the Judgement day.

  12. Very well written and ik has serious mental issues otherwise every sane person knows how these peers make fool of others, rather ruin ppls lives.

  13. Utter rubbish , lacks facts and more of imran phobia. Writer needs to stop trying to cashin to ruler party’s paid propaganda and try writing some thing tangible and relevant .

  14. You became a lawyer to write fluff tabloid pieces for an adversary-state based newspaper.

    Life sometimes demands introspection. One day you’ll be forced to sit down and wonder what you’ve become. I couldn’t care less about Imran Khan’s personal life, but I just want you to remember me when that happens.

  15. Well written. It’s definitely made the upcoming elections that much more hilarious. Now trying to watch Imran fight will be interesting and for the sake of comic relief and satire, I wish he comes close to winning. The post loss saga will be another sight to behold, but not as much as when he leaves the rather terrifying looking soulless woman, and marries for the fourth time. Let the games begin.

  16. couldn’t agree more, a core personality analysis, sadly disappointment for many. a very well written article, based on bare facts.

  17. it’s grotesque to see Pakistani media outlets/journalists are descending on the lowest level possible. This article is a mere propaganda narrative Nawaz league and cronies are trying to sell by spending billions of rupees of taxpayers money. The father of the nation was a principled man and despised mixing politics with personal life for political gains. Jinnah knew about Nehru’s ongoing affair with lady Mountbatten but not once did he raise the issue in public. Because the man had high moral standards and dignity. He envisioned a country with similar virtues. But unfortunately, Pakistan has hit rock bottom. They have absolutely nothing to criticize Imran Khan on corruption or money laundering etc. So, therefore, the dying urge to somehow bring him down leads to character assassination and personal attacks. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!

  18. Basless and copy paste story from a lawyer must be Punjabi thinker lay down same agenda as his cronies chore Sharif s .and biased towards a selfmade political leader .it does not get any better his is the most honest and truthful person in Pkaistan he had seen so much he Don’t even care .بونے بونے ھی رھتے ھیں چاھے ھاورڈ سے پڑھ لیں

  19. Sufism has long been a mystic dimension of Islam, a comparatively liberal and tolerant manifestation that, historically, in South Asia at least, bridged many differences with other creeds. Traditionally, authentic Sufis have kept away from politics and similar worldly activities- and it is quite bizarre to see Imran and his new wife with extremely dubious pseudo-sufi claims, trying to befool the nation with highly pretentious claims. It also seems highly likely that the new Mrs Imran Khan herself deliberately leaked the early details of her marriage to ‘Herr Kapitan’ to the press in a bid to garner fame. If so, then IK seems to have found his ultimately ambitious and unscrupulous match.

  20. By calling it a mental illness, you’re trivializing the issue of mental health and the stigma associated with it. Sure, Imran Khan’s aberrant behavior raises eyebrows, but it certainly doesn’t qualify as a mental illness and you have no right to mock someone like this; you’re a lawyer and not a medical practitioner. Often, superstitions are not just a result of blind indoctrination, but a response from the brain which records the steps leading to favorable outcomes.

    • Don’t you know Harvard chooses those among the “Third World” who can be manipulated and do the dirty work of Western imperialism? Why the surprise?

  21. The terms used in this personal attack are sad and desperate. Rental liberals like Yasser should see who India chose as their PM not even a single elected/non-elected PM in Pak had such brutal credentials. I have never seem such harsh criticism on someone’s marriage. The “Seasoned Politicians” of Nawaz sharif’s party are famous notorious marriages. But let’s not questions this writer’s employers. I am sure this writer has a mindset as pathetic as his views on someone’s marriage.

  22. yasser is racist and bigot. can i be racist too? wait… look yourself in the mirror. you are labeling them as an uneducated persons just because you are in Harvard now but, you need to consider your age as well besides that you can only be a journalist/lawyer.

  23. We have known Imran Khan has defeated all and every challenge and challengers he ha encountered. You may write whatever with your mixed western and Hindustani values. Therefore, we wait to see if he shuts your mouth and pen or otherwise.

  24. Even the compulsory grace time period between divorce and new marriage which is called iddat and lasts 3 months and 10 days was not spared. Bushra manika got divorced in mid November and was supposed to get remarried in mid February. Not only both parties lied about the marriage, they abused the iddat as well. What kind of sadiq amin and good character is this?

  25. Bullshit. This gutter writer must hate Imran Khan. Never seen such a blunt article on the matrimonial life of anyone, ever. Totally throwing shit at IK on a personal level.

  26. Harvard Law School needs to improve its standards, if its visiting fellows write such baseless articles..
    you need to do research on a lot things

  27. Depressing and Hilarious by an equal measure also applies to your narrow minded approach to a very personal issue. And mental problem is not when someone has a direct line to who ever or what ever they believe in, its when there is a direct correlation between corruption and incompetence, and your leader NS commands both.

  28. Those in the Indian media who seem to be inordinately enamored of Imran Khan and report breathlessly on his various activities, should take a deep breath and take a clear-headed look at their hero. This man has moved down the path of madness.

  29. I feel very sad after reading your article Yasir Sahib, though I am a fan of your ideology on religious freedom. I’m startled at the reaction of Imran Khan’s followers, it’s Imran’s choice to marry who ever he wants be it hijabi . How can Hijab offend his followers? Wearing a Hijab is a clear commandment in Surah Al Noor and Surah Ahzaab,Does Bushra Sahiba have the choice to fulfill that command of God? If yes, then no one has the right to complaint about it . It’s her choice and her life. As for Imran Khan , a nation which can not differentiate between corrupt and an honest ,straight forward people like Imran khan , They are choosing disaster for them .

  30. Is not it an attempt to hoodwink more than two hundred millions people ? A interesting story which has many elements but the overwhelming one seems to be an obsessive quest for power. I reckon that the power equation in the country is too complicated to be solved by dreams. Let us be real and leave daydreaming.

  31. I’m a huge supporter of IK but must admit his choice of marriage to the likes of Pinki Pirni has left many of us totally flabbergasted! Pinki in a red veil! I mean seriiusly! Khan has lost his marbles, I’m very sorry to say! The gorgeous Jemima, then the very attractive Reham Khan … and now Pinki Pirni??!!!

  32. Jealousy is a curse which instigates the writer to poke his nose in other people personal matters. Speculation and hatred is clear. I hope sense pervails by the writer

  33. You have badly mixed up Piri Muridi and spiritualism. Do some research before you go on to write such a column. Imran Khan’s support is intact and growing everyday. IK has performed a religious duty & you should be ashamed of yourself by making it controversial.

  34. Very well written and totally agreed with your observations. Pro Taliban Imran Khan never fails to make a monkey of himself, his party and his followers. Unfortunately, they are left with only one job now i.e. to defend stupidities of their leader.

    • It was Nawaz Sharif who took the money from Usama bin Laddan, and Late Banazir Bhutto establish the Talibans.
      Its you ppl who are defending rubblishly to Nawaz Sharif’s corruption but screwing baseless to the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Stupid ness of you people is that you won’t trust Your supreme court.
      Choar kay Saathi b Choar.

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