Imran Khan and Bushra Maneka Image Credit: Supplied

As rumours of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan’s third marriage resurfaced, the party refuted reports of secret marriage but confirmed that Khan had proposed to Bushra Maneka, his spiritual mentor.

To set the record straight, PTI issued a statement on 7 January 2018, clarifying that “Mr Khan proposed marriage to Ms Bushra Maneka; but Ms Maneka asked for time to make a final decision after consulting her family, including her children.”

“If and when the proposal is accepted by Ms Maneka for the marriage, Mr Khan will announce it publicly in the proper manner” the statement said, requesting media “to give the two families, especially the children, their privacy.”

The notification added that the reports had put an “unacceptable burden” on Maneka and Khan’s children, who learnt of the incident though the media.

Several PTI leaders including Shireen Mazari, Awn Chaudhry and Fawad Chaudhry denied the rumours, saying that media should not report false news. “For the record, it is Chairman PTI Imran Khan’s personal business and no one else’s, when, with whom and where he decides to marry” Shireen Mazari said in a tweet.

Rumours of Khan’s alleged third marriage began circulating on Saturday after Pakistani newspaper The News published a report claiming that the PTI chairman had married a woman, whom he regarded as his spiritual leader, in a secret ceremony on Jan 1.

PTI leaders refuted the reports that party chief Imran Khan has tied the knot. But on Sunday, a statement clarified that he has proposed to a woman named Bushra Maneka.

Bushra Maneka, in her 40s, is a respected faith healer in Pakpattan. She was married to Khawar Farid Maneka, a senior customs official in Islamabad, according to a report published in Dawn.

This would be the third marriage of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan. He first married Jemima Khan on May 16, 1995, a marriage that lasted nine years. Khan and Jemima have two sons, Sulaiman and Qasim, who are living with their mother in London. Khan’s second marriage with Reham Khan, a TV anchor, lasted only 10 months.