Hiss and Tell

Fayes T Kantawala spent the entire weekend devouring Reham Khan's salacious book

Hiss and Tell
The written word is not Reham Khan’s strong point. The writing is self-aggrandising, pedantic and long-winded – almost like a teenager has edited it (which may be true). She also spends a very long time reconstructing her childhood and abusive first marriage. You can see almost immediately the image she wants to project: the demure, self-effacing, naively kindhearted woman who wants nothing more than to be a good Muslim wife, but for whom life has Other Plans. The heavy-handedness of these parts can be enervating, but on the upside it’s easy to tell when she’s trying to play you, and you can rightly ignore most of it.

The juice comes when the facade cracks. Particularly in the last 100 pages, you get to inhabit her spectacular vengeance as she lays bare some of the most sordid details that have come out about Imran Khan and the group of people associated with him. Like, ever. In one sentence she is talking about her religious conservatism, and in the next she saying how PEDO was an appropriate acronym for the allegedly corrupt energy privatisation venture that benefited PTI cronies because it is the one thing that will come back to **** Imran Khan. Girl…
She states (casually, in passing) that he is insecure about his manhood, so much so that he has seriously considered enhancement surgery - something she alludes to again when quoting a well-known 1970s Bollywood actress who said of him: "Naam baray aur darshan chotay"

The chronology is a bit messed up and Reham glides over vast swathes of time. For instance, after a detailed breakdown of her first marriage, she glosses over why she moved back to Pakistan from the UK and the actual courtship with Imran. Somehow we are to believe that he wooed her and she fell for it: that’s it. There is a Bollywood bit in there about how he tried to soothe her mosquito-bitten ankles in his bare hands, but if you ignore such cloying details you can get on to better things. We are meant to accept – at face value and without an iota of cynicism – that she truly believed Khan was a good husband and that her wanting to marry him had nothing whatsoever to do with any political aspirations of her own. To her credit, she admits how outlandish this claim might appear, but does nothing to counter it. What she does do is skin everyone else alive and the following are a few sprinkles of what she details in the book:

Imran Khan has a huge cocaine-addiction habit, goes through about 6 grams a night, rarely eats, has used heroin, carries Viagra and is fairly dependent on medication like Xanax (and the banned date-rape drug Rohypnol) in order to ‘come down’ from his nightly coke binges. He forgets whole conversations he’s had while high (including during most of his dharna, which he didn’t want to do) and that he also uses a mouth guard to counter the side-effect of teeth grinding.

She suggests that Khan often takes sexual favours in return for political seats. Reham names pretty much all the women he has slept with, including activists and leaders associated with the PTI. I mean names, dates and locations. She quotes the messages they would send on his phone; she states (casually, in passing) that he is insecure about his manhood, so much so that he has seriously considered enhancement surgery – something she alludes to again when quoting a well-known 1970s Bollywood actress who said of him: “Naam baray aur darshan chotay” (Such an insecurity, if it does indeed exist, does not stop him from sending pictures of his bits to women that he wishes to bed, according to Reham.) She says he has had sexual experiences with women, men (mostly at school) and some transgendered women, but the highlight for me was when she says Imran Khan had a threesome in the 1980s with Grace Jones and a woman who was a rockstar’s supermodel wife (no prizes for guessing). Also causally she points to his bedside stash of lubricant and cigar cases as evidence of a sexually liberated attitude. You can find and read a review about betting sites in Nigeria at greenbet.ng

She also spends a lot of ink on people around Khan – like his sisters, ex-wife and party leaders. Reham claims Jemima still holds enormous sway over Khan, that Khan confessed to slapping the heiress during their marriage, how he calls her “that Jew” behind her back and resents her control of their children. She also says that Imran Khan has by his own admission no less than 5 illegitimate children, the eldest of whom is 34 and may or may not be Indian. Of the PTI leaders she alleges that although Khan himself purports to seek honesty and truth, he is completely comfortable turning a blind eye to the alleged corruption of people close to him, like Pervez Khattak and others in his party circle. She alleges that he despises Shah Mahmood Qureshi but is very servile to Jahangir Tareen, and, as evidence of the kind of permissive attitude of the PTI leadership, alleges both these men cheated on their wives as well. There is so much more, like how much black magic surrounds Bani Gala, and in case the reader misses who is mentioned doing what where, the book concludes with a helpful glossary of a “Cast of Characters.” It ends with a series of pictures, which vary from old portraits of Reham’s grandmother to flashy shots of two bags of cocaine that she found in Imran Khan’s coat pocket.

Some of the revelations are so salacious that I’d have to take a break and run around the room screaming at the walls. I’m not sure how she is managing to put this out there without some serious libel accusations coming her way, because a lot of what’s in there seems hard to prove in a court of law. I’m also unsure whether it will make any real impact on the upcoming elections, given how there has effectively been a judicial-military coup in Pakistan to ensure Imran Khan’s victory. But it does expose the hypocrisy of the man and the party, which is particularly noteworthy at a time when moral clauses have been weaponised to disqualify other candidates.

At the end you are left with the impression that Khan is a childish, churlish egomaniac with a selective moral compass and a dangerous drug problem. And although that isn’t so far from the impression that I had of him to begin with, just the amount of details in the book makes it difficult for me to see the man quite the same way again. Or cigar cases, for that matter...

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