I am not surprised Imran Khan is going to lead Pakistan. That is why I wrote the book.
In the run-up to the Pakistan elections I was questioned about the motivation behind releasing my autobiography. I meant it when I said that my book wasn’t written to destroy anyone’s dreams nor to further anyone’s politics. The idea was to document all that I had seen and heard in my lifetime.
It was an unedited, unrestrained eye-witness account. The book laid bare many uncomfortable truths but then that is usually the case with truth. It is hard to believe and confront.
Like many others, I too viewed the world through rose-tinted glasses once. I was in denial until I caught my former husband Imran Khan redhanded on more than one occasion. The problem is that we all want a hero and Imran Khan was the only one for 40 years in a country with very little to be proud of. Back in 2013, I had described him as Pakistan’s best export.
By 2018, long before my book hit the market, we saw the tragic fall of this hero. The good looks, which helped him win Indian fans, could not hide the ugliness of his extremist rhetoric. The ball that won him respect was now to be swung against the very India that had loved him so dearly. When the daily count of critical articles increased from the West, Imran declared that the West had an agenda.
The accusations of pandering to the military establishment, appeasing the extremist elements and becoming the ‘PM select’ reached fever pitch by the time the D-day arrived. But the result in what is being called the dirtiest election, still left everyone gobsmacked. The Pakistani electorate and the pundits had also been in denial, just like I was when I married him.
As the results come in I can relate to the general air of disbelief. How could they so blatantly rig the elections, pundits asked. Why him? Could they not see how the Chinese, the Saudis and even the Iranians had a problem with him? I looked at the tweets, the swear words in WhatsApp groups and felt amused at their state of shock.
I am not surprised. Because I knew why this was happening. This is why I wrote the book. I did not write it to impact the election result, I wrote it precisely because no one could have stopped the plan.
There are not many things Imran says that I agree with, but he was right when he said that I was the biggest mistake of his life. We could not have been more different. I follow my heart but Imran is as cold as a reptile in his calculations.
The Imran I lived with for a year was neither dim nor rash.
Imran had thought I would be happy to be a celebrity wife. In reality, I was not cut out to be a politician’s wife who would look the other way and keep her opinions to herself.
And so, what is my reaction to the news of Imran Khan finally getting what he wanted? Relief that I am not with him at this time. He will be remembered as the man who stole the people’s mandate. For me, it is important to be with a man who commands respect because of his intellect or ability. It is impossible to be with someone who compromises his integrity and becomes the butt of jokes. But Pakistan, however, is now stuck with him. They have no option of walking away from their PM-to-be like I did.
We are a nation who get embarrassed when our PM reads from his notes in the White House. We change the subject when we are reminded of dictators like Zia-ul-Haq and Pervez Musharraf.
How will we defend a PM who does not know how to cast a vote, and who breaks laws with impunity? From setting alight his utility bills one minute to endorsing a break-in into the state TV channel the next— the skipper of the rocky boat has less than a glowing report.
A man who has a severe drug habit has been chosen to head the country at a critical juncture in our history. The choice is simple. There is only one right side of history. I am grateful to destiny that I happen to be standing on the right side.
Reham Khan is a journalist, child rights activist, and single parent in Pakistan. She authored ‘Reham Khan‘, an autobiography.