Pakistan’s flamboyant cricketer- turned-politician Imran Khan tied the knot with former BBC weather girl Reham Khan in a low-key ceremony here, ending days of speculation about his marriage.
The most talked about wedding of the season between Imran, 62, and Reham, 42, was conducted at the Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf chief’s Bani Gala farmhouse on the outskirts of the capital.
“Imran Khan & Reham Khan tied the knot in a simple ceremony in Bani Gala. Mufti Saeed conducted the nikah in the presence of witnesses,” Shireen Mazari, spokesperson of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), tweeted.
“Congratulations to Imran Khan on his marriage. We should now respect his privacy & his decision to keep this occasion simple,” she said.
“There r no Wedding or Valima receptions. Tomorrow food will be distributed amongst poor children,” she added.
The Muslim ritual of nikah was performed by Mufti Saeed.
“Imran Khan asked me to speak on his behalf to the media. His Nikkah just happened and the witnesses included Aun Chaudhary, Zakir Khan, Reham’s friend Aziz and others,” Saeed said, adding that only close friends and family number were invited to the ceremony of nikah.
“The event was a low key affair because we did not want to celebrate due to the Peshawar school massacre,” he said, adding that the Haq Mehr (payment from the husband to the wife at the time of marriage) is Rs 100,000.
The couple, who released a few pictures showing them offering “dua” (prayer) after nikah, will give a charity dinner to orphan and poor children in the coming days, Dunya TV reported.
None of Imran’s four sister attended the marriage as they reportedly did not approve the decision to wed Reham who has one son and two daughters from first marriage, local media reported.
Earlier, it was reported that the events will be used to raise funds for Imran’s Shaukat Khanum Cancer Memorial Hospital in Lahore, but Shireen denied such reports.
“There are no such ticketed cards and no grand functionâ€¦Imran is in no mood to celebrate after the Peshawar tragedy,” Shireen said.
Reham was born in Libya to Pakistani parents and has three children from her previous marriage to a doctor. She is presently hosting a political talk-show “In Focus with Reham Khan” on DawnNews.
The show’s rating has shot up following her marriage news.
Imran had tied the knot with Jemima Goldsmith, the daughter of the French-British tycoon James, on May 16, 1995 and has two sons from the marriage.
Jemima converted to Islam and the couple moved in with his family to Lahore.
The couple divorced on June 22, 2004, ending the nine-year marriage as it was “difficult for Jemima to adapt to life in Pakistan”.
Jemima on Tuesday congratulated the PTI leader via Twitter on “this new phase of his life”.
Born in 1952 in Lahore, Khan was educated at Aitchison College, the Eton of Pakistan, boarding school in England before going to the prestigious Oxford University.
Khan’s finest hour came at the age of 39 when he led an inexperienced Pakistan cricket team to victory in 1992 in the country’s only One Day World Cup title.
He became one of the world’s greatest ever all-rounders, a fearsome fast bowler and dangerous batsman.