While speaking at an election rally in Lakki Marwat earlier this year, Jamiat Ulma-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman asked how a person like Imran Khan could be prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan when his sons attend church. In the past, he made such statements on television.
In October last year, Imran Khan led a peace march to South Waziristan against the U.S. drone strikes, striding into the political territory of Fazlur Rehman in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the tribal region of the country bordering Afghanistan. Subsequently Fazlur Rehman and his party have leveled personal accusations against Imran Khan and his sons, who are living in London with their mother Jemima Khan.
To confirm the statement, Truth Tracker contacted Fazlur Rehman party’s spokesman Jan Achakzai by telephone and asked about his sources of the information. He insisted that Imran Khan’s sons are Christians as they live with their mother who is a Protestant Christian.
“We have got authentic information from our friends in London that Imran’s sons are being brought up as Christians,” Achakzai said. “Therefore, he doesn’t have any right to do politics here in the Muslim majority country and aspire for slot of the premiership.” He declined to give any details on what this “authentic information” was.
Achakzai said that his party is opposed to Imran Khan’s politics because he is a hypocrite: “He made his credentials doubtful after contracting marriage with Jemima Khan who was an infidel.”
Naeemul Haq, a trusted confidant of Imran Khan, told Truth Tracker that people like Rehman had been propagating rumors against Imran Khan since he began his career in politics. “This is nothing but a mudslinging campaign to call Khan’s sons Christians and Jews.”
Haq claimed that everybody in London knows Imran Khan’s sons, Qasim and Suleman, are Muslims for they have been taught the Quran by clerics and attend mosque in London. “If anybody has had doubts about Qasim and Suleman’s religion, he can check with [people in] the UK.”
Kamran Rehmant, editor at Pique magazine, told Truth Tracker that religious scholars like Fazlur Rehman have been using propaganda against Imran Khan’s sons and branding them Christians and Jews because they feel threatened by Imran Khan’s political standing.
“I’m sure Imran’s sons are Muslims – but even if they were Christians or Jews, it has got nothing to do with politics of Imran Khan,” he said. “This sort of propaganda campaign against Khan hasn’t worked out, as he has formed government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”
Syed Munawar Hassan, chief of Jamat-e-Islami and religious cleric, rebuffed the allegations leveled against Imran Khan’s sons, saying, “Certain elements in Pakistan love to label people as Jews, Christians and agents of spying agencies, and Imran Khan and his sons are victims of the same mentality.”
After Fazlur Rehman accused Imran Khan’s sons of being Jews in a TV talkshow on January 3, 2012, Jemima Khan replied to it in one of her tweets next day.
After listening to Jemima Khan on Islam and her children, and looking at the overall approach of Jamiat Ulma-e-Islam toward Imran Khan’s and his party, Truth Tracker staff ruled that the statement made by Fazlur Rehman about Imran Khan’s sons a Flaming Lie. It is a false, personal attack that is meant to provoke divisive feelings around religion. His spokesman’s remarks show the depth of the party’s animosity. An “infidel” is someone who does not believe in God; terming Imran Khan’s Christian wife as an “infidel” is a false and provocative use of the term.