Although an official declaration is still awaited, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has already declared himself as the winner of the hotly-contested Pakistan elections. His party - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf - has managed to gain a massive lead although it is likely to not reach the majority mark on its own.
Nonetheless, Imran Khan addressed the nation on Thursday and promised a slew of changes. It was an victory speech which evoked mixed reactions in Pakistan and elsewhere - much like what his former wives and current wife had to say about the election results.
Jemima Goldsmith, Imran's first wife, took to Twitter on Wednesday - the day of voting, and congratulated him for coming on top despite all the sacrifices he had made. "22 years later, after humiliations, hurdles and sacrifices, my sons’ father is Pakistan’s next PM," she wrote on the micro-blogging site. "It’s an incredible lesson in tenacity, belief & refusal to accept defeat. The challenge now is to remember why he entered politics in the 1st place. Congratulations."
Imran and Jemima were married between 1995 and 2004.
Second wife Reham Khan was not as kind. A vocal critic of Imran, she had recently released a book in which she had claimed that Imran is a bisexual who has also fathered a number of children outside of wedlock. After the results, she spoke to WION and said that Imran becoming PM of Pakistan spells bad news for the country. "I am not surprised with the results but I am surprised that people think I would be surprised. This was a dirty election but I thought it would be done covertly. That it was done so blatantly was to show who is the boss and it is the military which is the real boss now," she said. "Look at Imran's body language - he did not look particularly happy for someone who has finally got the prize."
While Imran has previously said that his 10-month marriage with Reham was the 'biggest mistake' of his life, he had also raved about his current wife - Bushra Maneka - in an interview to a UK-based newspaper. Bushra has kept a very low profile since marrying Imran earlier this year but she recently did congratulate the country for having chosen her husband as PM. "Allah Almighty had given the nation a leader who takes care of the rights of the people," she was quoted as saying by Pakistani news channels.
For Imran - known for his charm and charisma, the playing field may have dramatically changed. Challenges though remain albeit of a much different nature.