• 03 Mar - 09 Mar, 2018
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Renowned cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has tied the knot for the third time with a woman described by media as his ‘spiritual mentor.’

In a low-key ceremony held in Lahore, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Khan married Bushra Wattoo, who was clad from head-to-toe and with a veil covering her face in the photos shared by PTI on social media.

With his marriage to Wattoo, who belongs to a religious and conservative family, Khan has shed the playboy status that he once held in his younger years and reverted to Pakistan’s traditional society.

From blonde English heiress Jemima Goldsmith to Pakistani TV journalist Reham Khan and now spiritual adviser Watto, Khan it seems, has come full circle at the age of 65.

Khan’s previous two marriages captivated both global and local media, especially his first marriage to Goldsmith, a British socialite, in 1995, with whom he has two sons, Sulaiman and Qasim. The marriage that lasted nine years ended amiably but Khan admitted in his 2011 book, Pakistan: A Personal History: The “six months leading to the divorce and the six months after were the hardest times of my life.” Khan’s second marriage to Pakistani journalist Reham Khan ended after 10 months in 2015.

The news of his third marriage has both surprised and pleased many of his followers and party leaders.

“Congratulations to IK on his nikah to Bushra today. May he find happiness in his personal life. Wish him the best,” tweeted Shireen Mazari, senior PTI leader. Khan’s close confidante Awn Chaudhry and other party members also wished the couple well.

Who is Bushra Maneka?

Bushra Maneka or Bushra Wattoo (maiden name) is also known as Bushra Bibi and Pinki Pir, according to local media reports.

Maneka comes from a deeply conservative and politically influential family of the Wattoo clan. She is a resident of Pakpatan district, some 250 km from Lahore, which is known for the shrine of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar.

Also reported as being a ‘faith healer’, she is a devoted follower of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar, something she shares with Imran Khan. It is widely accepted that this is the common factor that ultimately led to her relationship with Imran Khan and his subsequent proposal.

The shrine in her district is the same one that Imran Khan is alleged to have travelled to, as early as 2015 to get spiritual advice and mentorship.
- Dona Cherian, Writer - Guides

Bushra Maneka’s former marriage

Maneka has five children from her first marriage to Khawar Fareed Maneka, a senior customs official, and son of former seasoned politician and Federal Minister Ghulam Farid Maneka. They got divorced in 2017. She has three sons and two daughters, according to media reports.

Her sons, Musa Maneka and Ebrahim Maneka, graduated from Aitchison College in 2013 and pursued higher studies abroad. Her eldest daughter Mehru Maneka is the daughter-in-law of son of MPA, Atta Maneka.

‘Imran is not the reason for the divorce’

When asked in an interview with Geo News TV if Imran was a reason for this divorce, Khawar Maneka clarified, “No! Imran is not the reason for the divorce. There were some things related to spirituality between me and my ex-wife that led us to the decision to end the marriage.”

Khawar said that he had divorced his ex-wife himself and that she had not demanded ‘khula’ (separation) from him. He said that they had spent 30 years of happy marriage with Bushra, but there were some problems during the last couple of years that led to the divorce, which was settled in late 2017.

Published in Gulf News as reported by Sana Jamal


Khan married British socialite Jemima Khan in 1995 and had two sons with her before their divorce in 2004. The split was attributed to the difficulties she faced in Pakistan, where she was hounded for her family's Jewish ancestry, and to his obsession with politics.

He then married Reham Khan, host of a local TV talk show and a BBC weather segment. They then divorced suddenly in October 2015, just ten months after they wed. She was widely criticised after appearing at public meetings of PTI, with opponents accusing her of seeking to boost her own profile through her husband's fame.


As reported by PTI, Khan had started visiting her over a year ago to seek spiritual advice.

"He got closer to her when some political predictions she made about his party came true. Later, both developed feelings for each other and finally Bushra took divorce from her husband and married Imran Khan early last month," the PTI source said.

PTI party spokesman Fawad Chaudhry also told AFP that the couple had known one another ‘for a long time’ but declined to provide further details.

However, PTI reported that Khan denied having sent the proposal before Maneka’s divorce. "I would like to reiterate that every time I met her, with family and alone, she has been in purdah (veil). My interest in her lies in the fact that I have not seen or met anyone with her level of spirituality. I only sent the proposal for marriage after she divorced her husband," said Khan.

Khawar Fareed Maneka, Bushra’s ex-husband, said in a video message, “I want to clearly state about my former wife, Bushra Bibi, that I have not seen a woman as pious as her in the world.