South Asia and Beyond

Indicted For Illegal Marriage, Imran Khan Cries ‘London Plan’

 Indicted For Illegal Marriage, Imran Khan Cries ‘London Plan’

NEW DELHI: A court in Pakistan has indicted former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife on charges that their marriage is unlawful. The duo got hitched in 2018 but Bushra Bibi’s former husband has accused her of violating the three-month waiting period before remarrying, a requirement as per Pakistani law.

The wedding date has got the former power couple into trouble. Khawar Maneka has alleged that his divorce with Bushra Bibi happened in November 2017. That’s less than three months from the day she married Imran (on January 1, 2018).

Imran and his wife have trashed the accusation, with Bushra Bibi claiming that the divorce happened in August 2017.

A special court heard the case on the premises of Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi where Imran is lodged in connection with a corruption case.

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At Tuesday’s hearing, the judge asked why Bushra wasn’t present in court as was ordered earlier. Her lawyer responded, saying she had turned up but left earlier for health reasons and had to go to hospital. The judge was irked that she left without informing the court.

When did she arrive in court and at what time did she leave? Also, did she walk or was assisted out, the judge asked the jail authorities. Her arrival time in court was 11:13 am, and she walked out on her own at 1:42 pm, the judge was told.

During the hearing, Imran claimed that the case was politically motivated and was part of the ‘London Plan’ (implying it was orchestrated from London by former PM Nawaz Sharif). “Khawar Maneka only remembered these details after 6 years when his software was updated,” said Imran, as reported by The Express Tribune.

General elections in Pakistan are due next month and Imran Khan has been barred from contesting after a trial court handed him a three-year jail term in a graft case. The sentence has been suspended by a higher court and he has appealed against his conviction but there are a slew of other charges against him. His party (PTI) has also lost its election symbol (cricket bat) after Pakistan’s Supreme Court declared the intra-party polls null and void. The party says its candidates will contest the elections as independents.