Ex-wife: I left Pakistan after decade of antisemitic attacks

Pakistan PM in row after rival says his children are raised ‘in the lap of Jews’

After Imran Khan criticizes her family, Maryam Nawaz, former premier’s daughter, makes comment about 2 kids PM has with ex-wife Jemima Goldsmith, whose father was of Jewish descent

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the groundbreaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor in Kartarpur, on November 28, 2018. (Arif Ali/AFP)
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the groundbreaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor in Kartarpur, on November 28, 2018. (Arif Ali/AFP)

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan became embroiled in a public row this week with a political rival who said the premier’s two children were “raised in the lap of the Jews.”

Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of former premier Nawaz Sharif and vice president of the Pakistani Muslim League, made the comments after Khan accused her family of corruption and privilege and attacked her son, Junaid Safdar, for playing polo at Cambridge University.

In an election speech last Saturday, Khan referenced recent pictures of Sharif — a former Pakistani PM ousted in 2017 and later convicted of corruption and jailed for two years — watching his grandson’s polo match.

Sharif left Pakistan on bail in 2019 to seek medical treatment in London, where he had remained since.

“The poor go to jail and the powerful [Nawaz Sharif] get NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] [deal] to go abroad and watch his grandson’s polo match,” Khan said in the speech, according to Sky News.

“The common man cannot play polo — a kings’ sport. You need a lot of money to keep a horse and play polo. So tell us where this dear grandson got this money from. It’s the people’s money,” he went on.

In this photograph taken on June 15, 2017, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks to media after appearing before an anti-corruption commission at the Federal Judicial Academy in Islamabad. (Aaamir Qureshi/AFP)

Nawaz then responded to the remarks, saying: “My son [Junaid] is the polo team captain [for Cambridge University] and is bringing honor to Pakistan.”

“He is Nawaz Sharif’s grandson, not Goldsmith’s, and he is not being raised in the lap of Jews,” she added, according to Sky News.

Maryam Nawaz, daughter of ex-Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif. (Screenshot)

Khan has two sons with ex-wife Jemima Goldsmith, whose father, the tycoon and politician James Goldsmith, was of Jewish descent.

The two were married for nine years between 1995 and 2004, during which Goldsmith converted to Islam and relocated to Lahore, Pakistan to be with Khan, who was then a cricket star.

Goldsmith responded directly to Nawaz’s remark, taking to Twitter this week to say that she “left Pakistan in 2004 after a decade of antisemitic attacks by the media & politicians (& weekly death threats & protests outside my house). But still it continues.”

In this July 22, 1995 file photo, Imran Khan, right, former Pakistani cricketer, along with his newly wed wife Jemima, clads in traditional Pakistani dress, reacts to a crowd gathered outside his residence in Lahore, Pakistan. (AP Photo//B.K.Bangash, file)

Nawaf wrote back in English: “I have absolutely no interest in you, your sons or your personal lives because I have better things to do and say but if your ex drags in families of others out of spite, others will have nastier things to say. You have only your ex to blame.”

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