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Sunday July 14, 2024

Bushra’s former husband blames Imran for being homewrecker

Maneka was speaking with Shahzeb Khanzada on Monday night on Geo’s Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath

By Monitoring Desk
November 21, 2023
Former prime minister Imran Khan (centre) with his wife Bushra Bibi (left) arrive to appear at Lahore High Court on May 15, 2023. — AFP
Former prime minister Imran Khan (centre) with his wife Bushra Bibi (left) arrive to appear at Lahore High Court on May 15, 2023. — AFP

KARACHI: Khawar Farid Maneka, the former husband of PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi, has in a tell-all interview claimed that he holds Imran Khan responsible for breaking up his ‘happy home’.

Maneka was speaking with Shahzeb Khanzada on Monday night on Geo’s Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath. Starting with the tale of how his ex-wife and the former prime minister met, Maneka said they were introduced by Bushra Bibi’s sister Maryam Wattoo. Claiming that he and Bushra Bibi [whom he refers to as ‘Pinky’] had a “happy marriage and home” when Imran Khan entered the scene after which his home was “broken”, Maneka said that when Imran’s visits became more regular his mother warned him about Imran’s “reputation” -- and “I also started resisting [his coming over].”

After that, said Maneka, Imran “started meeting [Bushra Bibi] in Islamabad.” Maneka said his then-wife would speak to Imran late at night and this is something that would disturb him. Eventually, he said, his ex-wife ended up getting a separate phone and number provided by her friend Farah Gogi at the request of the PTI chief.

Mankea said that at one point he even got his domestic help to ask Imran to leave his house when the former PM was visiting Bushra Bibi in the absence of her then husband.

When Khanzada asked him why Bushra Bibi had moved to a rented place in Bani Gala, Maneka said that the house in Bani Gala was not rented but his own farmhouse. “I had reservations about the fact that when she was living alone in Bani Gala she would visit Imran at his Bani Gala home as well. Every time I complained, I was told that it was a matter of spiritual mentorship.”

Maneka said that till six months before the divorce, it was not even on the horizon. “But I felt a shift in her attitude at a certain point. My ex-wife said to me that she wanted to live in her mother and brother’s home. I said okay because I had a feeling that something had changed and her attitude had changed.”

Explaining how the divorce came about, he said that “one day, I received a text message from Farah Gogi, asking me to divorce [Bushra Bibi]. I went and asked [my ex-wife] why Farah Gogi had messaged me; she did not respond. So I came back in anger. After a month, Farah called me again asking me to divorce my ex-wife.”

Maneka said that he had sent the written divorce to Bushra Bibi on November 14, 2017. Regarding Farah Gogi’s role in the entire situation, he said that, despite Farah Gogi being persona non grata at his home after this, she called him a month after November 14 asking him to change the date of the divorce.

Responding to an interview Bushra Bibi had given in which she had claimed that her iddat was over before she left her house, Maneka said that it was an entirely incorrect telling of the story, asking how iddat can start before divorce proceedings have started.

When asked why he did not speak then and is speaking up now, Maneka told Shahzeb Khanzada that when the nikah [between Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi] took place, he got calls from Farag Gogi and Zulfi Bukhari both -- and that they asked him to keep mum since “Imran Khan wanted to become the prime minister”. Maneka said that he “took it lightly first but then they got other people to call me too, calls that made me feel that my children’s lives were threatened. So I stayed quiet. But now I am broken and I am tired. My conscience does not allow me to stay quiet any longer.”

What about the fact that he had gained from his relationship with the former first lady, to the extent that there was talk about how he used his clout and influence and then stories of his corruption came out and cases were registered against him? According to Khawar Maneka, “This is the first time such cases have been filed against me. I am ready to fight these cases. As far as corruption goes, in the past five years Bushra Bibi is the one who left home and children and is being feted but the home that was broken no one has asked me how me and my children have fared. My youngest daughter was a child when this happened. Even now she cries at night. Imran Khan ruined our happy home and our family. Since the day Imran became PM, me and my children have only faced abuse from people.”

But then what about the fact that one of his daughters had joined the PTI and one daughter’s marriage was solemnized with full PM’s protocol? Why was he silent then, asked Khanzada. Maneka’s response to this was that both his older daughters are married and with children. “Daughters’ relationships with mothers are generally unbreakable. But my sons and my youngest daughter’s lives were ruined. What about my youngest daughter who is as yet 13-14 years old? And my sons?”

On being asked who exactly asked him to stay quiet, Maneka explained further that “First Farah Gogi called and said stay quiet.” Maneka explained that “Farah Gogi was not just Farah Gogi; she and Zulfi Bukhari were the then PM’s ‘special’ people.” He said that this became evident to him when “in the whole government tenure I only once called [former Punjab CM] Buzdar’s PA and that too regarding Baba Farid’s shrine in Pakpattan, but Buzdar refused. I never called again. At night Farah called my children to tell me to not contact the CM again.”

Maneka also categorically refuted any ties with Farah Gogi’s husband Ahsan Jamil Gujjar, claiming that he had met Gujjar the first time through Farah Gogi herself. “We have never had ties with Gujjar; he had come to see Bushra Bibi in 2009-2010 [and that’s when Farah started meeting Bushra Bibi].”

When Shahzeb Khanzada recalled to him the entire incident of how Punjab’s machinery was used to get Maneka and his children out of trouble with the police, Maneka also refuted any special favours regarding that. According to his version, “The incidents that involved the police and me and my children happened twice; my children said please do something...why are they doing this to us. Farah and her husband got to know that Bushra Bibi’s children had been stopped by the police. And the chief justice took suo-motu notice. During the Supreme Court proceedings, the CJ had grilled Ahsan Gujjar and the CM’s representative and said that if Gujjar intervened again then he’d be taken to task.”

Why then did Gujjar claim in court that he was the guardian of Maneka’s children? Maneka said that [Gujjar and his wife Farah] had become self-claimed foster parents [of my children] at the behest of Bushra Bibi. Even if something small would happen in my house, I wouldn’t know about it but Farah and her husband would take action. My name, however, would somehow end up being used.”

Maneka also alleged that “all transfers and postings in the Buzdar government were in the hands of Farah Gogi and her husband. My name would come in but they would be doing the postings and transfers”, adding that [Farah Gogi] “is not to be discussed at all. She is not worth it.”As for the case against him, Maneka said that he “will fight the case against me. I will be vindicated.”