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Thursday July 25, 2024

PTI chief Imran Khan summoned by court in 'unIslamic nikah' case

Judge asks court staff to issue summon to present the PTI chief in court to Attock jail superintendent

By Arfa Feroz Zake
September 21, 2023
PTI Chairman Imran Khan along with his wife Bushra Bibi looks on as he signs surety bonds for bail in various cases, at a registrar office in the high court, in Lahore on July 17, 2023. — AFP
PTI Chairman Imran Khan along with his wife Bushra Bibi looks on as he signs surety bonds for bail in various cases, at a registrar office in the high court, in Lahore on July 17, 2023. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has been summoned by a district and sessions court in Islamabad on September 25 in an “unIslamic nikah” case with his third wife Bushra Bibi.

Civil judge Qudratullah has asked the court staff to issue the summon to present the PTI chief in court to the Attock jail superintendent.

The former prime minister was arrested from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore on August 5 after being convicted in the Toshakhana case with accusations of misusing his 2018 to 2022 premiership to buy and sell gifts in state possession that were received during visits abroad and worth more than Rs140 million ($635,000).

Since his arrest, he was shifted to the Attock jail.

While the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had overturned a lower court's decision to jail him, he remains behind bars due to his arrest in the cipher case.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officially arrested the ousted premier — who was removed from power via a parliamentary vote in April last year — and Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case last month after booking them under the Official Secrets Act.

Qureshi was taken into custody from his residence in Islamabad in the same case on August 19 while Khan was arrested in the cipher case while he was serving the sentence in Attock jail.

Imran-Bushra marriage case

In May of this year, a district and sessions court in Islamabad rejected the plea challenging the nikah (marriage) of Imran Khan with Bushra Bibi.

The application, according to the court, was “inadmissible” and fell outside its jurisdiction but, in July another Islamabad court dismissed the civil court's verdict.

Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Islamabad Muhammad Azam Khan, back then, had remanded the case to a civil judge.

The petitioner, Muhammad Hanif, had claimed that Bushra Bibi was divorced by her former husband in November 2017 and married Khan on January 1, 2018, despite the fact that her Iddat period had not ended, "which is against the Sharia and Muslim norms."

The complainant submitted in the court the statements of Mufti Muhammad Saeed — who conducted the marriage between Imran and Bushra, and Awn Chaudhry — Imran's close friend — one of the witnesses at the wedding.

Saeed, who solemnised the couple's Nikah, had said that the PTI chief married Bushra Bibi during the latter's iddat (the time a woman goes into isolation after her husband dies or divorces her), despite knowing everything.

In his statement to a lower court, Saeed said he had solemnised Khan's Nikah with Bushra Bibi on January 1, 2018, over the assurance of a woman claiming to be the former first lady's sister.

"Then the former premier contacted me again in February 2018 and requested me to solemnise his Nikah with Bushra Bibi again as the first time it was against the Shariah," Saeed stated before the court.

He said that the first time when the Nikah was solemnised, Bushra Bibi's Iddat hadn't ended.

He quoted Khan as saying that Bushra Bibi had been divorced on November 2017 and that there was a "prediction" that the PTI chairman would become the prime minister of Pakistan if he married Bushra Bibi.

Mufti Saeed added that the first Nikah was illegal, which had been solemnised based on the "prediction".

Marriage

In February 2018, the PTI had announced that Khan married Bushra Riaz Watoo, better known now as Bushra Bibi, who is a respected faith healer. The ceremony was held in Lahore.

Although Khan's sisters were not in attendance, the bride's mother and friends attended the intimate ceremony.

Before marrying the spiritual guide, Khan was married twice.

He first married Jemima Goldsmith, daughter of a British billionaire, in 1995, but it ended in 2004. He has two kids — Suleman and Qasim — from his first wife. Both of them live with their mother.

His second marriage was to Reham Khan in January 2015, which dissolved in a short span of 10 months.