Reham Khan and Bushra Maneka. The former and current Mrs Khan. The almost first lady and the first lady. One, a modern Pakistani woman, the other a burka clad peerni. Going into 2019, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that the latter has proven to be more first lady material than the former.
For someone expected to stay in the shadows, the first lady has carried herself with grace and aplomb on the few occasions when she has been on the national stage. Her marriage was one of the biggest, and most contentious, news stories of 2018. But other than a few pictures on twitter, that video of Imran Khan kissing the steps of a shrine and rumours about her supposed dealings with the supernatural, she kept herself at a tactical distance from both the media and the public. It wasn’t until her husband’s oath taking that she was first seen out and about, and when she was, she was clearly the better half. While Imran Khan fumbled and looked understandably overwhelmed, she managed to glide through the crowds, shaking hands an exchanging pleasantries with poise.
The former Mrs Khan, however, has been less than dignified in the past year. It started with excerpts of her upcoming book leaking, filled with claims of a cocaine fueled Imran Khan and other scandalous activities in Bani Gala involving Hamza Ali Abbasi and Murad Saeed. Of criticism, she would take none, even over the badly written work that she had produced. Worse were the I-heard-from-somewhere allegations against some of the PTI’s female politicians (the easiest thing to do in this part of the world) she made in her book. She definitely caused a frenzy, but not one that she will be remembered in kind words for.