Disclaimer: the article is entirely pure of any subjective opinion. It is a brief summary of first few chapters, the way book is progressed.
As it is said “Bad publication of a book is better than no publication”. It was the same matter with Reham khan’s book controversy. The PDF version was again leaked, this time for the audience as well. The official book available at Amazon store is composed of 500 pages whereas the PDF version is about 365 pages. Well, it could be missing chapters or just the smaller font.
But we’re all curious as how the book starts and progresses. Does she jump straight to accusations on Imran Khan? Well, no!
In her acknowledgment it is her first born “Sahir” who gets the credit for editing and support, for tolerating her tantrums and anxiety. Further in Preface, calling it the most awaited book she claims to has published it with no intention of revenge and exposure but it is about a public figure who also happens to be human being as well. This book is for anyone who thinks there is no longer any point in going on. “To you i say this: you will see that there is every reason to get up, no matter how many times someone pushes you to the ground”, wrote Reham.
Prologue scenario portrays the usual abusive behavior of her first husband towards her and the non-influential threats by her that she would call the 999. After the twelve years of abuse, in 2005 this was the day she actually called 999 to report domestic violence. According to Reham, as soon as her husband heard her make the call he backed down and went to dress up like the sophisticated psychiatrist he is paid to look. The police officers knocks at door, Reham is taken to a smaller room by one officer while the other starts to question her husband to what he answered he had only “manhandled and not hit her”. After the subtle hints picked by the officers, the psychiatrist is ordered to stay away from the family for 48 hours.
The chapter one starts with her life and surroundings in Libya. It revolves around her family and their lifestyle. Reham’s father was an ENT surgeon and she recalls her mother to be a perfectionist. For many chapters ahead she has portrayed her immediate and extended family environment to be extremely healthy, tolerant and educated. Dr. Bahadur Sher Panne, her grandfather, was known as Khanjee due to no heir from first wife (beejee). So he had married the second time who was her biological grandmother.
The both wives of Khan Jee lived happily ever after. Her mother’s family belong to Pannes and Afghan tribe. She remembers herself as a smart, observant, witty/naughty tomboyish child that never learnt to give up, who at the age of 8 could recite Shikwa and Jawab e Shikwa by Allama Iqbal. Later in school life she was the know it all kind of person. She knew a lot about sex education by herself because she was in a conservative environment. She even shared that knowledge with her Catholic convent school mates.
She was the popular and dominant girl with flawless confidence and skin who pulled practical yet embarrassing pranks on her colleagues. She had also became victim of jealousy and backbiting but never really cared. Reham has shared quite a few scenarios. She also became a TV star of children program at age of 12 but eventually had to quit due to objections from family. She had her heart in plays and so she continued to participate in numerous plays for charity. At the age of 9 she recalls her first non consensual encounter although minor, when she was in a lift with the unnamed bureaucrat, he had asked her “why do you think i like you?” to which Reham replied “perhaps, because you have no children of your own” following up the man kneel down and put his lips to hers for a brief moment before the lift doors opened. Back then she was naive and could not understand what had happened and so couldn’t inform or talk to her mother. In between her story telling she has briefly advised to be attentive and conscious for your kids. The abuse can come from the youngster, adults, as well as the caretakers of children and people in suits as well.
Her First Marriage
If we skip much about her family and her life, the long life misery peaked at Reham from a window at her cousin’s wedding when she met the groom’s much older brother. She was married in her teenage years to an 18 years older cousin Ijaz Ur Rehman (son of her paternal aunt/phupo) who had promised her higher education in UK if she agrees to marry early. After marriage the true character of her husband was revealed. Even though she has never been into romance fantasy, she had none in her real life as well along with respect. So she was a victim of shaming and hence the security of her life and well being was not perfect. She spent 12 years as a slave of her husband. Through pregnancy her situation was more or less the same. Her husband was ‘sound sensitive’ that he would not even tolerate the cry of his own children. He had short temperament and had vicious, abusive behavior towards her and her children. This was a sharp contrast to what she was used to in her old home.
She had belonged to a rich and respectable family with money never being an issue, and then she was in a house with a husband who never gave her much money and treated her as a house maid and an object for just himself. He never showed her any affection towards Reham. He was also a drinker and had many love affairs. Her marriage was spent shifting from UK to Australia and back to UK to Pakistan and from area to area. Reham’s father in law after serving jail time retired as an army officer, his son inherited father’s temper. Reham’s mother in law (phupo) spent the same repressed life as she was with her son. Sahir became a victim of intense torture, to the extent that he started have night terrors and started sleep walking. The house environment was strict, each task had to be done according to time set by the husband or abusive consequences were faced. Reham had a fifth month miscarriage because she never had time for her well being. She was deprived of the promised education but instead was rolled in parlour courses, which she did happily as it would give away time from Ijaz. Reham can be counted as the classical case of domestic violence, a case many women in Pakistan are accurately similar with, a physical, verbal and mental torture named as marriage. Even though belonging to an educated family her mother never confronted her situation or gave moral support even after eye witnessing the circumstances. She was never asked to come back to her parents house. Reham decision to divorce was not supported by her family. After separation her sister in law (bhabhi) who was once her best friend had cut ties with her and the mother sent criticizing and disappointing letters. In the post divorce phase the father’s support is not mentioned either. The separation decision was not enough, Ijaz had emptied most of the accounts so he didn’t had to split property according to the UK law. She was alone and broke with her three children.
Her First Divorce
In the post divorce chapter Reham tell her complete struggle of working two jobs to make the ends meet. She started from dropping and picking up orders in her Mercedes to radio stations. She enrolled into various courses and also took open university lectures. One of the course programme landed her at the office of BBC news where at the first meeting with lady made her decide that she would never work here but eventually fate would direct her to BBC news. According to her she never liked working at BBC news. The other channel she worked at was Legal TV where she made changes in the show and soon she was adored by the audience. She worked a lot for the immigrants. Although the life was tough but she had great time with her children who grew into her supportive companions. They were fearless, confident and happy who now never missed the big house of their father Ijaz. The financial situation got better with time.
Her father’s death
After her father death, Reham realized she must spend as much time as she can with her sibling and mother. Reham decided to shift back to Pakistan. After reviewing the famous channels such ARY and GEO news she settled at News One and later at AJ TV. Through chapters she has complained that the needed attention to Pashto region issues was never considered. She soon became the sensation of news. Through her career in media she came across a lot of politician and was invited to parties which always left her disgusted. Reham has put forward scenarios as the core aim of socializing for people was the alcohol/wine and personal favours anchor or editors provided to politicians. One of the scenarios include a party where Pervez Musharraf was guest of honor and the party was nowhere being ethical. In 1995, the news of young Jewish wedding to former cricketer Imran Khan dominated the news even in Australia which made no sense to her. She has had heated debates with men who looked at Imran Khan as an ideal. Back then Imran came across as an ill-mannered, arrogant and rude man. “Imran Khan came across everything that i detested in a man, yet he was everything men like my husband aspired to be”, says Reham.
When She Met Imran Khan
When later in career she had her first interview with Imran Khan in Bani Gala the impression was no different. She argued that PTI lacked management, organizational skills and was not sure why PMLN felt threatened of PTI near elections. When she was invited to an overseas event of PTI, she left the event after 15 minutes unimpressed. During her career as an anchor and huge office with proper staff, all she had to care was her appearance. Saleha, one of her support in Pakistan took Reham to an old school friend and designer named Bina Sultan. Reham was interested in conversation if Bina would do her TV wardrobe but she was interested in knowing which drug Reham preferred. After claiming the Reham has never touched drug, a suggestion straight to cocaine was poured in. It was between that the conservation the statement that cricketer turned into politician Imran Khan was a regular cocaine user was popped up. Later when she tried coats borrowed from Sultana, she found Brown Fudgy substance that apparently a model had accidentally left it in pocket. She also had the chance to interview Hamza Shehbaz, son of Shehbaz Sharif who rather came across polite and courteous and she was later impressed was the mannerism of Maryam Nawaz who was a skilled administrator rather than a Daddy’s princess as labeled by PTI.