Last week, Punjab Province Information and Culture Minister Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan in Pakistan was forced to resign for his anti-Hindu comments. In the aftermath of increased tension between India and Pakistan following India’s air strike on terror camps in Pakistan, the PTI leader had made derogatory comments against Hindus. After the video of his comment went viral on social media, it had attracted widespread criticism from within and outside Pakistan. Soon after that, he had resigned from his post as a minister in Punjab province.
— RT (@RT_com) March 5, 2019
This incident of Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan has prompted journalist and filmmaker Reham Khan, who was briefly married to Pakistan PM Imran Khan, to write about how Chohan’s comments were not isolated, but such anti-Hindu feelings run deep in the entire political leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. In an article titled Imran Khan, the closet bigot published by Firstpost, Reham writes she is very much familiar with the former minister, and she was not surprised when he made the controversial remarks for Hindus.
Reham Khan writes that her first ugly encounter with Chohan was on a talk show on Capital TV in 2014 where he was bullying fellow women panellists. As there was public outrage at his behaviour, and she had snubbed him firmly, the transcript of the show was sent to the party leadership. This episode had started a series of arguments between Imran Khan and Reham Khan before he proposed her for marriage. During her encounters with him, she had learnt that Imran Khan liked the TV appearances of Hassan Chohan where he regularly makes obnoxious comments. After Chohan appears in such TV shows, Imran Khan calls him to appreciate him, she writes.
Reham Khan writes that she first met Imran Khan in January 2013, when she had briefed him about the Nirbhaya gang-rape case on Delhi in 2012. The Cricketer turned politician had no idea about the case before Reham told him about it, even though the case had grabbed global headlines. After listening about the case, Imran Khan had blamed Bollywood for the case, saying that because Bollywood shows women in skimpy clothes, masses get frustrated and commit such crimes.
Imran Khan, the liberal icon who famously flaunted his playboy image, had the same thoughts about women and rape like orthodox Mullahs, which came as a big surprise for Reham. She writes, “How could a man who had an Oxford degree, albeit in 3rd class, played most of his life in the West and partied hard with the media elite of the world say something like that?”
“How could he associate the length of a woman’s skirt with rape?”, she asks. She then writes this was just a glimpse of many contradictions in Imran Khan’s private life and public comments which she witnessed later in her life.
She informs that after six months of persistent wooing by Imran Khan, she married him in October 2014. Although they didn’t have any personal disagreements, she certainly didn’t approve his frequent racist jokes and clichés. Reham Khan says that Imran Khan routinely uses derogatory words for Hindus and Christians. She and her children were never used to such words being used in family, and Imran Khan derived great pleasure from torturing her once he learnt that she feels uncomfortable with his language, she writes.
Liberal icon Imran Khan’s thoughts about women and the world of entertainment are highly conservative. Reham’s youngest daughter wants to pursue a career in acting, but her stepfather frequently lectured her saying acting is not a respectable career. “His choice of words to describe Bollywood stars cannot be repeated”, Reham writes.
“So, I am not in the least bit surprised when I hear his ministers routinely make identical remarks in public about Hindus or film stars. The direct calls made to Imran to remove these racist, bigoted loudmouths make me smile”, she says, emphasising how his partymen reflect his views only.
Talking about hatred for each other in India and Pakistan, Reham says that the Kashmir issue gives politicians ample ammunition to drive up anti-Hindu agenda. She also thinks that bigotry and suspicion against Muslims seem to be deeply ingrained in India, depending on versions she heard from her friends in India. She also has been told by her Indian friends that Modi government hasn’t been the best advertisement for a secular, democratic India.
Reham Khan grew up in the jihad environment of Zia era, and children of her generation were encouraged via school textbooks and “old uncles like Imran” to hate everything Indian, she says. According to her, Imran Khan comes from such a family background where it is considered funny to be rude to others.
She also says that Imran Khan has the superiority complex of being a light-skinned Pathan. Like many people in Pakistan, Imran Khan also suffers from fairness-cream syndrome. He used to tell Reham, “I can spot you in a crowd because you glow like a light bulb because of your pale complexion against the ‘darkies’”, mocking the dark-skinned people.
Reham Khan writes that although sacking Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan for his anti-Hindu comments is important, it should not be forgotten that he is a typical product of Pakistani government schools, where children are taught a curriculum of hate and after that brainwashed by deep state’s narrative through media.
After ending her brief marriage with Imran Khan, Reham Khan has emerged as a very vocal critic of the Pakistani Prime Minister. In her memoir titled Reham Khan published last year, she described him as womaniser, drug addict, corrupt politician. She gave a detailed account of sexual behaviour of her husband in her book, saying he had gay partners. She had revealed that Imran Khan had sexual relations with many women leaders of the party. According to the book, Imran Khan had said that he had five other illegitimate children that he knew of, other than Tyrian White, his alleged daughter with Sita White, for which he is facing a disqualification case in Lahore High Court.