A district and sessions court in Islamabad has issued a summons for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, scheduling his appearance on September 25 in a case related to an “unIslamic nikkah” (marriage) with his third wife, Bushra Bibi.
Civil Judge Qudratullah has instructed the court staff to deliver the summons to the Attock jail superintendent, where Imran Khan has been detained since his arrest on August 5. Imran Khan was taken into custody following his conviction in the Toshakhana case, which involved allegations of misusing his 2018 to 2022 premiership to buy and sell gifts received during official visits abroad, valued at more than Rs140 million ($635,000).
Despite the Islamabad High Court overturning a lower court’s decision to imprison him, Imran Khan remains incarcerated due to his arrest in the cipher case. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officially arrested him, along with Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in the cipher case last month under the Official Secrets Act. Qureshi was arrested from his Islamabad residence on August 19, while Khan was apprehended in the cipher case while serving his sentence in Attock jail.
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The case related to Imran Khan’s marriage to Bushra Bibi has been a matter of legal contention earlier this year. In May, an Islamabad district and sessions court dismissed a plea challenging the validity of Imran Khan’s nikah with Bushra Bibi, deeming it “inadmissible” and beyond its jurisdiction. However, in July, another Islamabad court overturned this decision and referred the case to a civil judge.
The petitioner, Muhammad Hanif, had asserted that Bushra Bibi had been divorced by her former husband in November 2017 and that she married Khan on January 1, 2018, before her Iddat period had ended, which he argued was against Islamic law.
Statements from Mufti Muhammad Saeed, who conducted the marriage, and Awn Chaudhry, a close friend of Imran Khan and a witness at the wedding, were presented in court. Mufti Saeed stated that he solemnized Imran and Bushra’s nikah on January 1, 2018, based on the assurance of a woman who claimed to be Bushra Bibi’s sister. He added that the first nikah was conducted when Bushra Bibi’s Iddat had not concluded, making it illegal.
Imran Khan’s marriage to Bushra Bibi, a respected faith healer, was announced by the PTI in February 2018, with the ceremony taking place in Lahore. Prior to this, Imran Khan had two previous marriages, first to Jemima Goldsmith in 1995, and later to Reham Khan in January 2015, which lasted only 10 months.