ISLAMABAD - Ambitious Reham Khan only wanted to be the de facto prime minister if ever the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf was voted to power.

The ‘amicable’ end to a nine-month marriage with Imran Khan put to rest Reham Khan’s dream to possibly become a powerful First Lady in future if Imran Khan was elected as premier.

Imran Khan, 63, and the father of two sons from his previous marriage to British socialite Jemima Khan (nee Goldsmith), had tied the knot with television journalist Reham Khan, 42, on January 8 this year. Reham Khan is host of a political talk show and was previously a BBC weather host. She is also a divorced mother of three.

Her ex-husband Dr Ijaz Rehman, who lives in the United Kingdom, alleged Reham Khan was a selfish woman with a lust for money and status. He blamed her for using him like a ‘toilet paper.’

Reham Khan herself said she would not have married Imran Khan if she was not interested in politics. Several PTI leaders were unhappy with Reham Khan’s over-enthusiastic participation in politics and at last she was sidelined by Imran Khan.

The moment Reham Khan’s twitter and politically activity was switched off, there were rumours something as big as a divorce could happen anytime unless Imran Khan opens the doors for her again.

In the last few weeks, Khan was beginning to ease the restrictions on Reham Khan but damage had already been done.

Imran Khan spoke of his pain after his wife Reham Khan confirmed their divorce. The news emerged on the eve of Punjab’s local bodies’ elections and caused dismay among his PTI supporters.

PTI insiders say the First Lady’s role – in case Imran Khan assumed power – would have been no less than a de-facto prime minister.

A senior PTI leader said Reham Khan would have been more active than the First Gentleman Asif Ali Zardari – as spouse of twice-elected prime minister Benazir Bhutto – and First Lady Nusrat Bhutto during the tenure of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

“She would have been more powerful than the two. She was ambitious enough to interfere and could have shared power if Imran Khan was elected the PM,” he added.

The PTI leader said her alleged meddling in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa affairs disturbed the provincial government for more than two years.

Earlier this year, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government led by the PTI appointed Reham Khan as ambassador for street children. Her job included raising awareness about the rights of poor children.

PTI spokesman Naeemul Haq said the divorce was mutually agreed by both Imran Khan and Reham Khan and pleaded with the media to allow the family their privacy and not judge them. “The divorce is a personal matter and should not be judged politically. It was mutually decided between Imran and Reham,” he said.

In the early days of marriage, Reham Khan, who never had any official position in the party, acted as ‘Faryal Talpur of PTI’.

Faryal Talpur, the sister of Pakistan People’s Party co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, is believed to be the second-in-command in the party. She has been active in politics for long and shares power with her brother Zardari and nephew Bilawal in the party.

Reportedly, Khan, who heads the PTI, paid Rs 80 million to Reham Khan as settlement. Some suggested the actual paid amount was Rs 180 million.

Mufti Mohammed Saeed, who solemnised their marriage in January, said the agreed Haq Mehr (dower) was only Rs 100,000.

“It is their personal decision how they want to go about it. There were no conditions on the Nikah Nama (marriage contract). It was an Islamic Nikkah and there were no conditions. Under Islam, you can divorce anytime you want,” he said.

A family member of Imran Khan said Khan’s sisters pressurised him to divorce Reham Khan. Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khan had made no secret of her displeasure over the marriage.

Khan has four sisters, Rubina Khanum, Aleema Khanum, Uzma Khanum and Rani Khanum. All of them did not attend the January wedding ceremony and neither visited Khan’s residence in Islamabad afterwards.

Aleema Khan said they had learnt of his wedding from the media. “We were neither aware nor were informed of the Nikkah prior to this,” she said, adding no member of the family had attended the Nikkah as nobody approved it.

Sources said Imran Khan’s conservative family was unhappy with Reham Khan’s past as her pictures wearing mini-skirts, dancing in clubs and drinking went viral soon after the marriage.

Imran Khan’s close aides said Reham Khan wanted to get involved with politics and that was not what Khan wanted at all. She just did not want to sit at home.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked party leaders to refrain from commenting on Imran Khan's personal life. However, the divorce stirred a fiery debate on social media, with fans and naysayers of both Khan and Reham Khan taking sides.

Born in 1952 in Lahore in a comfortable family with origin in the Pashtun northwest, Imran Khan was educated at Aitchison College, the Eton of Pakistan, boarding school in England, and then Oxford University.

He became one of the world’s greatest ever all-rounders - a fearsome fast bowler and dangerous batsman - whose finest hour came at the 1992 cricket World Cup, where at the age of 39 he led an inexperienced team to the title.

Khan married Jemima Goldsmith, the daughter of the French-British tycoon James Goldsmith, in 1995. She converted to Islam and the couple moved in with his family in Lahore.

They divorced in 2004, allegedly over the difficulties Jemima Khan faced in Pakistan, where she was hounded for her family’s Jewish ancestry, and his obsession with politics.

Politicians took to twitter to comment on the development. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) tainted, “No woman can stay with Imran Khan.”

PPP’s Nisar Khuhro said, “If I was PPP Punjab leader, I would have immediately invited Reham Khan to join our party.”

Another PPP leader, Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker, Syeda Shehla Raza said, “Imran Khan has lost second wicket and there is best chance of a hat-trick.”

PTI’s Shireen Mazari lashed out at opposition politicians for their negative remarks. “We will not indulge in personal mudslinging of opposition politicians despite their cheap shots because we respect IK’s request for privacy. But Rana Sanaullahs & Syeda Shehla Raza should look to their own party members loves, lives & divorces before targeting IK’s personal life!” she tweeted.