Imran Khan in 1992 and 2017.AP/Reuters
Imran Khan, the man likely to be Pakistan’s next prime minister, has had a colorful past.
Before entering politics in the mid-1990s, Khan was an Oxford scholar, world-renowned cricketer, and a playboy with a reputation on London’s party scene.
His first two marriages were to a British socialite and a BBC weather presenter, who has since accused him of cheating and taking hard drugs. His third wife is a woman whose face he had never seen until after the wedding.
Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, has won more seats than its opponents in the country’s general election, according to unofficial results. Khan himself has declared victory, but the result is yet to be made official.
Scroll down to learn more about Imran Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician.
This is Imran Khan, the 65-year-old leader of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party. The party, whose name means “Movement for Justice” in Urdu, is poised to win more seats than other parties in the Pakistani parliament, which would effectively make Khan the next Prime Minister.
Imran Khan at his house in the Bani Gala hills, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan July 29, 2017.Caren Firouz/Reuters
PTI is on course to win 120 out of the 342 seats available in the Pakistani National Assembly as of Thursday afternoon local time, the country’s Dawn newspaper reported.
It needs 172 seats to gain a majority in the 342-seat parliament.
Imran Khan married his third wife, Bushra Maneka, in February 2018 — without ever having seen her face before. “I proposed to her without seeing her because she had never met me without her face being covered with a full veil,” he told The Mail on Sunday.
Maneka is a spiritual guide in Islam’s Sufi branch, and had vowed not to meet men other than her husband with her face uncovered, The Mail on Sunday reported.
Khan told the British newspaper:
“I did not catch a glimpse of my wife’s face until after we were married. I proposed to her without seeing her because she had never met me without her face being covered with a full veil.
‘The only idea I had of what she looked like came from an old photograph I had seen in her house.”
He added that during his partying days in London, it would have been “unthinkable if someone had told me I would marry someone whose face I hadn’t seen. I would have thought they were mad.”
Source: The Mail on Sunday
But it looks like Khan’s ascent to power won’t be easy: All his opponents in major parties have rejected the result and claimed the votes were rigged by the military and electoral commission, saying that the military had even been forbidding people from casting their ballots.
Khan and his colleague, Shireen Mazari, in Islamabad on July 9.Faisal Mahmood/Reuters
Mir Hasil Khan Bezinjo, the president of Pakistan’s National Party, told The Guardian: “The country has become a laughing stock globally because the final election results are still withheld and Army has decided the candidates not the masses.”
Source: The Guardian