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PIA pilot allows Imran Khan’s ex-wife inside cockpit, faces probe

A Pakistan International Airlines pilot allowed Imran Khan’s ex-wife Reham to sit in the cockpit for a “few minutes” during a London to Lahore flight, prompting a probe with the airman facing disciplinary action.

world Updated: Dec 04, 2015 11:56 IST
Pakistan International Airlines,Aviation,Reham Khan
File photo of Reham Khan (Left), ex-wife of Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan. A pilot with PIA is facing a probe for allowing Reham Khan to sit inside the cockpit .(AFP)

A PIA pilot allowed Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s ex-wife Reham to sit in the cockpit for a “few minutes” on her request during a London to Lahore flight, prompting a probe with the airman facing disciplinary action.

Reham Khan made the request to sit in the cockpit for a few minutes while coming toLahore from London on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-788 yesterday.

“On her request the pilot allowed Reham to sit in the cockpit for ‘few minutes’ which is against the law,” PIA spokesperson Danial Gilani told PTI.

He said Rehamexpressed her wish to sit in the cockpit which the pilot could not turn down.

“Although it appears to be courtesy on the part of the pilot but the PIA cannot ignore the rules. Under the law, unauthorised persons cannot enter the cockpit,” he said.

The PIA management has initiated an inquiry into the matter and will take appropriate disciplinary action against the pilot, Gilani said.

In this file photo, Reham Khan (C), wife of Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, leaves a local madrassa, or seminary, in Islamabad, Pakistan. (AP Photo)

The Pakistani cricket legend-turned-politician and the TV journalist announced their decision to split on October 30 amid reports that Imran objected to her meddling in politics.

Reham, 42, left a job on regional BBC news and moved back to Pakistan in 2013.

62-year-old Imran’s marriage in January to Reham was his second after his first fell through with English heiress Jemima Goldsmith after nine years, in June 2004.

It was Reham’s second marriage as well and the couple’s relationship was shrouded in controversy from the beginning.

Soon after the couple married in January this year, Reham’s ex-husband denied allegations that he had mistreated her.

Members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, headed by Imran, had expressed concern over Reham’s participation in politics after which the PTI chief announced that Reham will neither contest elections on a party ticket nor will attend any party gatherings.

After being away for a month following her widely covered split with Imran, Reham returned to Pakistan on Thursday and said she had come back with a resolve to fulfil her responsibilities in the media.

When asked about her intentions to join politics, Reham said, “Before politics, the filth in our society needs to be cleansed. Before you run a political movement, there is a great need for a social movement... “

“What type of people are coming into politics -- what kind of youth and how we enable them -- and how we fulfil our responsibilities in the media. I’ve come with this resolve,” she was quoted by Dawn News.

Reham said she would live and die in her country.

She also said she had not received any money from any PTI leader and asked her critics to stop targeting her.

“I am a pathan (Khan) and I can give my life and know how to fight,” she said.

First Published: Dec 04, 2015 10:48 IST