Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has married spiritual guide Bushra Maneka, his party said on Sunday, ending weeks of speculation about the union.
Mr Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician, married Bushra Bibi (also known as Pinki Pir) in a simple ceremony held in Lahore, PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said in a tweet.
He said the ceremony was held at Bushra Maneka’s brother’s home in Lahore.
Reports of Mr Khan’s marriage had been doing the rounds since January. Last month, he made headlines after asking his supporters in a tweet to pray he finds “personal happiness which, except for a few years, I have been deprived of”, following still unverified claims he had married his spiritual advisor.
As speculation swirled, the flamboyant cricketer-turned-politician had angrily questioned if he had “sold” state secrets to India or “laundered” the country’s wealth to deserve a bad press.
Imran Khan has previously referred to Watto, a mother of five, as his “spiritual adviser” and someone whose guidance he valued.
The PTI leader has sought to shed the playboy reputation of his younger years and has built a large political following in the northern parts of Pakistan, especially with the conservative Pashtun population.
Over the past year he has also seen his political stock rise following the ouster of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif through judicial proceedings that Khan had championed.
Mr Khan had first tied the knot with Jemima Goldsmith in 1995 that ended in divorce after nine years in 2004. His second marriage was with Reham Khan, then a TV anchor, which lasted barely 10 months.
Bushra Maneka, who is in her 40s, is from the Wattoo clan, of which the Manekas are a sub-clan. She was married to Khawar Farid Maneka, a senior customs official in Islamabad, the Dawn newspaper reported.
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