Wife of Pakistan’s Imran Khan, charged with graft, is known for spirituality
Bushra Khan, the wife of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, is facing corruption charges in the same case that led to his arrest on May 9. On Monday, he accompanied her to a court that granted her protective bail, Reuters reported.
She is known for her spirituality and devotion to Sufism, a mystical form of Islam. Khan, 70, has often called Bushra his spiritual leader.
Born Bushra Riaz Watto, she changed her name to Khan after her marriage. Her husband and followers commonly refer to her as Bushra Bibi or Bushra Begum, titles that in Urdu denote respect.
She has kept a low profile since her marriage to Khan, a former cricket hero who has been in the public eye for decades.
Below are some facts about Bushra:
Bushra, who is in her late 40s, hails from a family of landowners in Punjab. Little is known about her early life. Her first marriage, which lasted about 30 years, was to Khawar Farid Maneka, a customs officer from a politically influential Punjab family. After their divorce in 2018 he was quoted by Pakistani media as saying: “I want to clearly state about my former wife, Bushra Bibi, that I have not seen a woman as pious as her in the world”.
Bushra and Maneka have five children, Reuters reported.
MYSTIC, SECRET MARRIAGE
Both Bushra and ex-husband Maneka are devotees of Fariduddin Masud Ganjshakar, or Baba Farid, a revered Muslim mystic and Sufi saint whose shrine is located in Maneka’s hometown of Pakpattan in Punjab.
Pakistanis who admire Bushra’s devotion to the saint call her a spiritual leader while Khan’s opponents accuse her of practicing sorcery, a claim Khan’s aides have repeatedly denied. In a rare interview, Bushra told local HUM news network in 2018 that “people would come to see me to get closer to God and the Prophet”.
It was not clear when or how Khan met Bushra, but former aide Aun Chaudhry said Khan was very impressed with her spirituality.
Khan, who had acquired a playboy image in the 1990s as his cricket career took off, has previously said he was keenly interested in Sufism.
Khan and Bushra married in 2018, seven months before he was elected prime minister, in a secret ceremony. The marriage was Khan’s third after Jemima Goldsmith, daughter of business tycoon James Goldsmith, and TV journalist Reham Nayyar Khan. Both these marriages ended in divorce.
A few months before Khan was elected prime minister, local media carried photos of the couple prostrating at the Baba Farid shrine. In the HUM interview, Bushra said: “Every moment of Khan sahib’s life is now dedicated to God, the Prophet and the love for Baba Farid”.
Bushra, who is always seen in public wearing a veil and a burqa that shows only her eyes, did not accompany her husband on any official overseas trips during his time in office except for visits to Saudi Arabia, where they were filmed at the holy Muslim cities of Mecca and Medina.
Members of Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, have said Bushra inspired Khan to set up Al-Qadir Trust, a non-governmental welfare organisation that runs a university outside Islamabad devoted to spirituality and Islamic teachings.
The trust is part of the corruption charges levied against the couple. While prime minister, Khan promoted the trust at official events, and the couple are the sole trustees, according to Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar.
Khan’s party spokesman Farrukh Habib told Reuters the case was politically motivated and that the couple draw no financial benefit from the trust, read the report.
Pakistan, Russia launch direct shipping service
Pakistan and Russia have launched a direct shipping service, for their first time in their bilateral trade history, which Islamabad and Moscow hope will boost trade ties between the two countries.
On Saturday, following an inauguration ceremony, a cargo ship carrying 36,000 tons of goods left Karachi port for St Petersburg. The ship is expected to arrive in the Russian port city in 18 days.
Later this week, a tanker carrying Russian crude oil is expected to reach Karachi.
Pakistan’s minister of state for petroleum and energy, Musaddik Malik, told the media that this is the first direct shipping line between the two countries.
“We want to make it clear Pakistan is not in anyone’s camp. We try to do trade with the USA, we are told we are in the USA camp. We do business with China, we are told we have aligned with China. The truth is we are only doing what is in the interest of Pakistan,” Malik said.
“We are only trying to get cheap oil for our energy needs from Russia,” he said.
Over 3,600 boxes of silkworms distributed to Herat farmers this year
Herat Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock says more than 3,500 boxes of silkworms have been distributed to farmers this year in Zinda Jan, Injil, Guzara and Pashtun Zarghun districts of the province.
This directorate has said that 80 percent of silk work is done in Zinda Jan district.
“We were able to grow about 3,600 boxes with the help of institutions, about 80 percent of which we have grown in Zinda Jan district,” said Khalil Ahmad, general director of Herat agriculture directorate.
“About 20 percent of silkworms have been grown in Injil, Guzara and Pashtun Zarghun districts, which has had good results and the financial status of the farmers has improved.”
The local officials said most work in the silk industry is done by women.
“Almost 60 percent of the silk industry is done by women,” said Ahmad Shah Qawami, head of the silk workers’ union for Zinda Jan district.
This year, the families who are engaged in raising silkworms hope to have good production, now that the silk season is over and many are working to separate the silk thread.
However, the farmers are not satisfied with this year’s market conditions.
“The silk market is weak this year, it was good last year, it was very advanced,” said a silk worker.
The silk industry in Herat has a history dating back 600 years, and many families have preserved this ancient profession.
Silkworms usually feed on the leaves of mulberry trees, which grow in these regions. The industry also provides a livelihood to hundreds of men and women in the area.
Two die of Congo fever in Balkh Central Hospital
Two patients died of Congo fever in Abu Ali Sinai Balkhi Hospital in Mazar-e-Sharif city, health officials said.
Reports of an outbreak of Congo fever have been recorded in a number of provinces in the north of the country.
Najibullah Tawana, head of public health of Balkh, announced the death of two people in the meeting of sectorial coordination to prevent and reduce diseases between humans and animals in the province.
“Last week, 10 cases of Congo disease were confirmed in Faryab and Jawzjan and [patients were] transferred to Abu Ali Sina Balkhi seminary hospital, but two of them have died,” said Tawana.
Meanwhile, Mawolavi Mohammad Nasim Abid, the deputy mayor of Mazar-e-Sharif, said that they monitor the cleanliness and compliance of butchers every day, and that animals are slaughtered in slaughterhouses built by this department.
According to him; standard facilities have been established for the slaughter of chickens to prevent the spread of various diseases.
Mawolavi Zabihullah Noorani, the head of Balkh culture and information, also asked the media to inform the people about the prevention of this disease and inform them about the harm of this deadly disease.
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