Reham Khan’s autobiography: A tell-all on Pakistan’s political elite | Pakistan Today

Reham Khan’s autobiography: A tell-all on Pakistan’s political elite

The much controversial book of Reham Khan, after already making ripples in the rank and file of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has finally come out with a bang. Though there has been no response from PTI chief Imran Khan — whose life the book explicitly explores — it is yet to be seen if the expose will able to build enough momentum to affect PTI and Imran’s political career.

While many see a hidden agenda behind the publishing of the book, and that too just ahead of the elections, Reham sticks to the claims made in the book, that not only slings mud on Imran, but many others, including media persons, politicians, and the Pakistani elite social circles.

Announcing the release of her book, Reham tweeted, “It’s out! Available in paperback in the UK and select territories. Available worldwide in Ebook format.”

The book contains account of various PTI leaders besides Imran, including Jahangir Khan Tareen, Naeemul Haq and Aleem Khan.

IMRAN’S ‘OTHER’ CHILDREN:

The book claims that while Reham was married to Imran, he told her that he had had several children out of wedlock – “There are five in total that I know of…. some are Indians,” the book quotes Imran as saying.

‘SLEAZE ON THE RIGHT, SLEAZE ON THE LEFT’:
“At another social gathering, suddenly, I felt a hand touch my knee. I felt a cold shiver of disgust and turned to give the owner of the offending hand (Naeemul Haq) a glare that promised to cut it straight off. The prowling, sleazy figure of the chief of staff to the PTI chairman was relentless in his chase. I saw him approaching us from the corner of my eye and backed away until I hit the glass cabinet behind me. I muttered something to Shehryar Taseer along the lines of, “Save me from this sleaze-ball,” Reham describes an odd encounter with the PTI leader.

JAHANGIR KHAN TAREEN AND ALEEM KHAN:
Reham also mentions how Jahangir Khan Tareen and Aleem Khan’s fortunes improved.

“On the first visit of Mrs Musharraf to Jahangir Khan Tareen’s house, she had appreciated the decor wholeheartedly. On their departure, Mrs Tareen had branded the then first lady an upstart. Meanwhile, established elites describe Tareen as an opportunist who from his humble beginnings as the son of a police officer had climbed right to the top. His rapid rise from middle-class teacher to Imran’s personal cash machine was ridiculed by many. Tareen’s business grew phenomenally during the Musharraf years, which was unsurprising given his position as Federal Minister for Industries and Production. During this period, he was given water reservoir projects and mining contracts from which he made a lot of money, and several bank loans were written off as well. In 2011, he along with other PML-Q politicians jumped onto the PTI bandwagon after IK’s overnight success in October 2011. Tareen made sure he paid more tax than anyone else and his paper trail was perfect, but the extent of his white-collar manipulation was extraordinary,” she writes about Tareen.

Similarly, another excerpt states the rags to riches story of Aleem Khan. According to the excerpt, Aleem, in his own words went from washing dishes in Canada with his future brother-in-law, Faraz, to being one of the biggest land developers in Pakistan. Aleem’s success was even more miraculous than Tareen, as he had no inherited lands of a spouse to nudge him forward. In fact, he somehow went from a 25-year-old late-stage cancer sufferer to a billionaire in less than a decade. In his constituency of NA-122, no secret was made about the campaign budget. A modest estimate suggested at least Rs1 billion.

THE POSSE OF ‘JKT GIRLS’:
“A group of women in PTI prefer to call themselves ‘the JKT girls’. This group of women in their late 30s worked voluntarily and simultaneously with all three top-tier leaders: Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar and Tareen. I was used to their breathless gushing about these three older men and chose to tolerate it,” reads an excerpt about women working for PTI.

THE MAN WHO THOUGHT HE WAS STILL KING:
Regarding former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf, she writes, “At a party, Musharraf would grab the mic and break into his favourite songs. His bald bouncer, Jimmy Chaudhry, stayed close to him and made sure no one photographed or recorded the intoxicated general singing away with the professional musicians, entertaining everyone. It was the maestro Hamid Ali Khan and his son who had been called in to sing that evening for the man who still thought he was king. It was a small drawing room, but the mehfil (intimate concert) atmosphere was maintained by the owners of local TV channels flinging £20 and £50 notes at the performers. My friend nudged me and pointed to the heavily made-up ‘peshkash’ (production) introduced to the president. One of these voluptuous sari-clad women had apparently been flown in from America. I did not know who to feel sorry for: the young ladies paraded in front of this powerful man.”

FUNDED ELECTIONS:

The book mentions a meeting between Reham Khan and Mrs Arif Naqvi at her residence in Emirates Hill, Dubai. The two women exchanged their views on issues like Taliban and security challenges in the KP. When Reham returned to their hotel, Imran asked her how the meeting went. “Baby, they are very important. Arif Naqvi funded 66 per cent of my campaign in 2013 himself,” the PTI chief revealed, according to his former wife. Arif Masood Naqvi, the founder and group chief executive of The Abraaj Group, is a renowned Pakistani businessman. His firm works as a private equity investor operating in Africa, Asia, Turkey, Latin America, Middle East, and Central Asia.

Meanwhile, PTI spokesperson, responding to the book’s release, has said, “We will ignore the book.”

On the other hand, Reham Khan has announced that she is ready to, and most definitely will, prove the authenticity of her book in the court of law.



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