Pakistan’s Former Prime Minister and Wife Sentenced for Controversial Marriage

Pakistan's Former Prime Minister and Wife Sentenced for Controversial Marriage

Pakistani Ex-PM Imran Khan and Wife Convicted of Breaking Islamic Law

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, and his wife, Bushra Bibi, have been convicted for violating Islamic law in their marriage by not following the stipulated three-month waiting period before getting remarried. The couple received prison sentences of seven years and were fined Rs. 500,000 each. This is the third conviction in a week against Imran Khan, and he faces over 150 legal cases related to his time in office.

Violation of Islamic Law

The prosecution has accused Imran Khan and his wife of violating Islamic law, which mandates that a woman must wait for at least three months after divorce before getting remarried. This rule exists to avoid any confusion about the paternity of the child, in case the woman becomes pregnant. The couple denied the allegations and plan to appeal the verdict.

Political Motivations

Imran Khan and his family insist that the trial was politically motivated. The former prime minister was ousted from power in 2022 following a parliamentary vote of no confidence. He now faces multiple convictions and legal cases, including incitement to violence after his arrest in May 2023 for his supporters’ attack on military headquarters and a radio station building. Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had released a statement calling the trial a “mockery of the law” due to the lack of cross-examination of witnesses and no due process.

Khawar Maneka’s Complaint

The complaint against Imran Khan and Bibi’s marriage was raised by Khawar Maneka, Bibi’s ex-husband, in November. The Nation newspaper has cited Bibi refuting the claim, and she claimed that the divorce deed presented was a “fabricated document.” Furthermore, she alleged that Maneka had given her a triple divorce in April 2017 while Khan and Bibi had solemnized their marriage on January 1, 2018, seven months before Imran Khan became the prime minister. The couple questioned why Maneka had waited so long to complain as he had only raised the issue after being detained in a graft case last year.

Further Convictions and Legal Cases

The recent convictions follow another case, where Imran Khan and his wife were found guilty of leaking state secrets and graft. They received concurrent prison sentences of 10 years and 14 years, respectively. The couple also faces another graft case, which claims that they granted undue benefits to a property tycoon in exchange for the establishment of an Islamic university.

Impact on Elections and Political Future

The upcoming parliamentary elections on February 8 have disqualified Imran Khan from running, and his party is struggling to run an effective campaign. The rapid series of convictions and legal cases against Imran Khan and his family are seen as punishment for his rhetoric against Pakistan’s powerful military leadership, which has ruled the country for half of its 76-year history. Often dubbed as a playboy during his cricketing days, Imran Khan had a high-profile first marriage to Jemima Goldsmith, which ended in divorce. He then married Reham Nayyar, a television journalist, but they divorced within a year. Bibi, his third wife, remains reclusive and wears a face-covering hijab when in public, and Imran Khan has often referred to her as his spiritual leader. She is known for her devotion to Sufism, a mystical form of Islam. It remains unclear when and how the pair met.


The conviction of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife for violating Islamic law is the latest in a series of legal cases against him. While the couple has denied the charges and their supporters cry foul play, the verdicts have nonetheless dealt a significant blow to Imran Khan’s political career. It remains to be seen if these convictions will mark the end of Imran Khan’s political ambitions or will he bounce back.

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