Cricket legend Imran Khan was sworn in as Pakistan's prime minister on Saturday, August 18 at the presidential palace in Islamabad, taking on the challenge of forming a coalition government.
I, Imran Khan, solemnly swear that I am a Muslim and I believe in the unity and purpose of the almighty Allah. I, with the utmost sincerity, will be loyal to the country, "Khan told the country's president, Mamnoon Hussain, three weeks after that his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), claim a majority in the general elections.
The ceremony, held at the Presidential Palace, was attended by the country's top authorities, including the head of the powerful army, Qamar Javed Bajwa, and the interim prime minister, Nasir ul Mulk.
The politician and former cricketer have two sons with the heiress Jemima Goldsmith. His second wife was the television Reham Khan Divorced and mother of three children.
The wedding of Imran Khan and Jemima Goldsmith happened in 1995, when she was 21 and he was 42. After two ceremonies in Paris and London, Jemima settled in Lahore and learned Urdu with the intention of integrating in that country. The couple had two children, Sulaiman (21) and Qasim (18), and she remained in Pakistan from 1995 to 2004 when they announced the divorce. She moved to London with her children.
A peaceful end
Jemima has maintained good relations with her ex-husband, has criticized the ideological and religious harassment to which she was subjected in her life in Pakistan. In London she has publicly supported her ex-husband in peaceful protests against the British or Pakistani government.
In 2014 Jemima announced that she was no longer called Khan and was returning to her Goldsmith surname because Imran was going to get married again. Imran's second wife was Reham Khan, British-Pakistani and Muslim, born in Libya and educated in England. She worked as a TV presenter, and had been a weather girl on the BBC and since 2012; she had shown programs on Pakistani television. There she met Imran who interviewed and ended up marrying in January 2015. They divorced before the end of the year.
Reham (44), less Westernized than Jemima but more than Bushra Bibi, has also criticized that she was the target of a smear campaign by the political party founded by the former cricketer and a member of a wealthy Pakistani family.
Imran founded the Lahore hospital in the name of his deceased mother, to whom Jemina contributed with his charitable work. Although the second wife shared religion and national origin with Imran Khan, the marriage was short lived. Imran has said on occasion that Jemima was very young when she moved to Pakistan. Of the second wife, he has not spoken publicly.
The Pakistani Imran Khan (65) is an idol in his country because he was part of the cricket team that won in 1992 the only cup in the world that the Pakistani national team has won so far. His appearance as handsome, former playboy and politician, founder of the PTI, motivated to eradicate poverty, have placed him on a pedestal in which the only inconvenience he had was to marry Western women.
Khan's third wife, Bushra Maneka, was also at the event, in her first public appearance since her wedding earlier this year. Marriage was attended by several of the cricketers, including, who won the 1992 world cup with the team captained by Khan. Marriage was also attended by the Indian cricket player Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Khan's party won the elections
The PTI won 151 seats in the July 25 elections, but managed to get the support of several minor parties and independent deputies on Friday, August 17 in the National Assembly. After a vote to decide who would be asked to form a government, the politician had the support of 176 of the 342 parliamentarians who form the Lower House of Parliament of the Asian country.
Pakistan was ruled by military dictatorships half of its history.
The military coups have marked the 71-year history of Pakistan and the election of Khan was only the second democratic transfer of power. If he completes his five-year term, he will be Pakistan's first prime minister to do so.
Corruption and poverty, two of Khan's main challenges
Khan won the elections promising to fight corruption and drastically reduce poverty.
One of Khan's first tasks as prime minister will be to resolve how to deal with an impending monetary crisis that threatens to derail an economy that grows around six percent per year. Since the beginning of the year, the rupee has already been devalued four times.
Relations with the United States are not at their best, with US officials angry about Pakistan's alleged support for Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. However, Islamabad denies having helped the insurgents.
Khan has promised to bring to justice "those who have plundered the country" and taken the money for "education, hospitals and water" out of Pakistan, in reference to previous governments.