Who Is Bushra Bibi? Former Pak PM's Wife Allegedly Poisoned At Home Prison

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan dropped a bombshell during a recent court session, alleging that his wife, Bushra Bibi, had been poisoned while she was locked up in their home turned jail.

Rudrani Gupta
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Bushra Bibi

Picture Credit: Hindustan Times

Imran Khan, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, made a startling revelation during a recent court hearing, alleging that his wife and former first lady, Bushra Bibi, had been poisoned while incarcerated at his private residence, which had been converted into a sub-jail. Khan's assertions have sparked significant controversy and raised serious concerns regarding the safety and well-being of Bushra Bibi.


Background Of The Case 

A Pakistani court has formally indicted the former Prime Minister, Imran Khan, and his present wife, Bushra Bibi, on charges related to the alleged acceptance of land as a bribe during Khan's premiership, marking a critical juncture in the legal proceedings surrounding the charismatic leader, who has been in jail since August in connection with other cases. Khan, 71, has steadfastly denied all allegations against him, making this trial a focal point of global attention and scrutiny. Bushra Bibi is the third spouse of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan. She married Khan in 2018, six months before he took the oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan. She is reportedly the first Niqab-wearing wife of the Pakistani Prime Minister. 

Recently, Omar Ayub, the general secretary of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), raised concerns about the confinement conditions of Bushra Bibi, wife of the former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan. Despite her Bani Gala residence being officially declared a sub-jail, Ayub asserts that Bushra Bibi is unjustly "confined to a small room."

Imran's Shocking Accusations 

Imran Khan didn't mince words when he told the court about his suspicions. He said Bushra Bibi showed signs of poisoning, pointing to marks on her skin and tongue. Khan even went so far as to blame high-ranking military figures, including the army chief, General Asim Munir, if anything happened to his wife. Khan also urged the court to get Bushra Bibi checked by trusted doctors from Shaukat Khanum Hospital. He didn't trust the previous medical examination and wanted a fresh, unbiased look at her condition.

Bushra Bibi's Testimony and Allegations


Bushra Bibi herself addressed the media following these allegations, providing details of her ordeal. She claimed that she had been poisoned with a common toilet cleaner, describing symptoms such as swollen eyes, chest pains, and a bitter taste in her mouth. Despite facing adversity, she chose not to reveal the identities of those behind the poisoning.

Imran Khan's allegations have reignited debates on political victimization and abuse of power in Pakistan. The timing of these accusations, amidst Khan's recent removal from power, has raised questions about motive and intent.

Sub-Jail Declaration vs. Actual Confinement

Ayub, also nominated as the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, sheds light on the unresolved "meal issues" faced by Bushra Bibi in her purported confinement. Despite the official declaration of Bushra Bibi's residence as a sub-jail, Ayub emphasizes that she remains relegated to a diminutive space.

A recent court update disclosed that Bushra Bibi cannot be transferred to Adiala Jail due to a perceived "security threat." The context of Bushra Bibi's confinement stems from her sentencing to 14 years in jail alongside Imran Khan in the Toshakhana corruption case. The ramifications of this case extend to the declaration of their marriage as un-Islamic in the iddat case. Both are serving multiple years' sentences, with Imran Khan lodged at the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

Amidst the controversy, PTI expressed apprehension about Bushra Bibi's health, citing a "serious threat" to her life. The party accuses Pakistani authorities of denying her necessary medical aid, raising further ethical and humanitarian questions surrounding her confinement.


The Bribery Allegations

Imran Khan, a charismatic leader who once captured the hearts of the nation, now struggles with the erosion of public trust. The political fallout is palpable, with implications that resonate beyond the confines of the courtroom. The indictment revolves around accusations of the power couple receiving land as a form of illicit gratification during Imran Khan's tenure as Prime Minister. 

Despite being in jail for several months, he has maintained his innocence, portraying the legal battles as politically motivated attacks, and raising questions about the nature of the evidence presented and the complexities of the legal proceedings.

The news of Imran Khan's indictment has sparked widespread public interest and discourse, with citizens expressing varying opinions on the matter. While some view the indictment as a step towards accountability, others perceive it as a political manoeuvre aimed at undermining Khan's leadership.

All about Toshakhana Case 

Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi have also been sentenced to 14 years in jail in the Toshakhana case, in which the duo have been accused of illegally selling state gifts. The verdict also says that they cannot hold any public office for the next 10 years. Bushra Bibi was summoned in the Toshakhana case by the National Accountability Bureau (NBA) in Rawalpindi on December 11, 2023, at 11 am and was asked to bring her gold necklace, diamond ring, and bracelet in connection with the case.


Who Is Bushra Bibi?

Born Bushra Riaz Watto, Bibi hails from a conservative and politically influenced family of landowners in Punjab. She is known for her belief in and devotion to Sufism. She has been a respected Sufi scholar, spiritual mentor, and faith healer. Her husband and followers call her Bushra Bibi or Bushr Begum with respect. Khan has often called Bibi his spiritual leader. 

Bibi is a follower of Fariduddin Masud Ganjshakar, or Baba Farid, a Sufi saint and revered Muslim mystic. While people revere Bibi for her devotion, Khan's opponents accuse her of sorcery. Bushra Bibi rarely appears in public. If she does, she is always clad in a burqa.

In a rare interview, she said, "People would come to see me to get closer to God and the Prophet...Every moment of Khan Sahib’s life is now dedicated to God, the Prophet, and the love for Baba Farid."

Bushra Bibi inspired Khan to establish Al-Qadir Trust, a non-government welfare organisation. It runs a university outside Islamabad that is devoted to the teachings of spirituality and Islam. Earlier, Bibi also levied corruption charges that included Al-Qadir. However, she was granted bail.

Bushra's Previous Marriage

Bibi was first married to Khawar Farid Maneka in 1989. He is a customs officer from a politically influential family in Punjab. The marriage lasted for 30 years, and the couple had five children—three daughters and two sons. Bibi divorced Maneka in 2018. Even after the divorce, Maneka had high regard for Bibi. In an interview, he said, "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." However, in another interview, he revealed that Bibi was involved in an extramarital affair with Imran Khan while being married to Maneka. 

Imran Khan Bushra Bibi Toshakhana Case