LONDON/ISLAMABAD: The issue that matters most to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan is how The News investigative reporter Umar Cheema got wind of the tightly-kept secret of his marriage with Bushra Manika.
Imran Khan’s third marriage news made global headlines after Umar Cheema disclosed that Imran, Zulfi Bukhari and Awn Chaudhry along with Mufti Saeed met Bushra Bibi at a Lahore house in a posh locality where the marriage was solemnised.
The PTI leadership initially denied the news and then on Sunday confirmed that Imran had proposed marriage to Bushra Bibi. Bushra is the former wife of Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) officer Khawar Fareed Manika.
Imran then confessed that he had only made a “proposal” to Bushra Begum” because he wanted to get married to find happiness which was lacking in the most part of his life
The publication of news shocked Imran Khan, his party and Manika family who were completely unaware of what was actually happening.
It’s understood that around eight people close to Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi knew in advance about the meeting on the night of 1st January at the house of Bushra Bibi’s mother where the nikkah was executed by Mufti Saeed.
Credible PTI sources say Imran had asked his closest friends and aides to find out how the news was leaked and who could be behind it. Sources say two party leaders had told Imran that either the news was leaked out by his aides or Bushra Maneka through her own sources but Khan doesn’t believe his wife or closest aides could do such thing.
For at least six days, Imran and his trusted aides have been guessing about the person who could have spilled the beans. Imran Khan’s phone got flooded with messages from friends and colleagues as soon as the marriage news was published.
He made a short and uncomfortable speech in Chakwal and was asked questions by reporters about the third marriage but he remained quiet. “It didn’t go as per plan and Imran Khan has been extremely upset at the leak,” said the source, adding that Imran Khan went out of his way to hide his 3rd marriage from his own family in Pakistan and London and ensured that Bushra was not made aware of any movements.
“There is a consistent pattern. Imran Khan married Reham Khan at the peak of dharna and kept it a secret for over two months until forced to make announcement. He tried to do the same again but would have never thought that Umar Cheema is fully aware of what’s happening,” said the PTI source.
Another PTI source said Khawar Fareed Maneka had some idea of what was happening and he had told his family that Umar Cheema was working on something but he didn’t exactly know what it was.
Although Fareed Maneka has issued a statement, sources said he was under pressure from within the family and outside. “The investigation remains alive,” said the PTI source, adding Imran Khan has blamed the individuals he usually blames for everything but has no idea how the news got leaked out. “Imran Khan’s whole plan has been thrown asunder. This is one of the biggest shocks of his life.”