Would Reham Khan’s degree matter if she wasn’t married to Imran Khan?

Published: July 18, 2015
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Reham was harassed unduly without any plausible evidence. PHOTO: AFP

Recently, when the Daily Mail published an article that claimed Reham Khan, who had citied having attained a course in ‘Broadcast Journalism’, did not exist as part of her educational credentials, the social media was abuzz. As interesting as this not-so breaking news seemed, it looked like an entertaining Twitter trend to follow. I use the term ‘entertaining’ for it was exactly that, entertainment.

Having earned a degree in Media Communication and Journalism, for me, the entire hullabaloo that followed this news was intriguing to say the least. We all know that the media really has no ethics and we are also well aware of how we pick on people without checking facts. You see, psychology proves that insecurity is the mother of bullying and picking on people.

Here, in the case of Reham not having done a ‘Broadcast Journalism course’ doesn’t even matter. I say this because we have a habit of not thinking out of the box.  Firstly, Daily Mail used the term ‘course’ which does not imply a ‘degree’; it could well be an ‘elective subject’ that she didn’t take. Secondly, the report says that she didn’t even attend the university, yet there is no legitimate evidence, only words typed out.

Alright, just for a brief moment lets pause right there. Maybe, just maybe, she really didn’t attend that ‘course’ as the official statement that was released on her behalf suggested, but guess what? Reham was a weather broadcaster at BBC. As a journalism student, back in the day it was a dream for me and my batch fellows to work for CNN or BBC. In Reham’s case, she was part of a broadcasting fraternity that is ‘credible’.

Now, whether this credible news channel gave her a job based on her degree or general persona or even intellect is not my concern, we’ll have to ask the HR team at BBC for that. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure, Reham has a degree. From wherever it is and whatever maybe, the major that she has graduated in, the lady at least has a credible degree and experience in international broadcast media. She isn’t like the countless morning show hosts on our channels that have backgrounds of either being fashion models or television celebrities.

Furthermore, I wonder why didn’t those on social media going haywire on Reham, question the authenticity of Maryam Nawaz Sharif or Bilalwal Bhutto’s degree or anyone else for that matter? Is it because Maryam, who has been pictured holding the pen upside down, posing with Jinnah’s picture behind her lavish government office is the daughter of our prime minister and because we saw pictures of Bilalwal partying up like a rich brat in university?

I leave you to answer this question, for I’d certainly like to see authentic degrees of both the above mentioned people.

While I agree that Reham’s Twitter responses to accusations against her were in bad taste and the changing of college institutions on her official website shortly after the article had been published raised my eye brow, yet I still believe that the entire saga was blown out of proportion.

She was harassed unduly without any plausible evidence. If she had it her way, this sort of harassment could well be taken into the court of law as any sort of harassment whether physical, mental or even cyber is considered a crime in our country.

Conversely, the Daily Mail should have produced proper evidence with that article in order to avoid ‘mirch masala’ or sensational journalism.

Media has a responsibility, one which it refuses to acknowledge. And while freedom of expression is permitted in journalism, yet that same freedom of expression and speech has boundaries. I sincerely wonder how this news is going to affect the Daily Mail or the people who wrote vile tweets to Reham, and also our television anchors who used improper words against a person who in actuality has a real degree? Where or what that degree is doesn’t really count for as long as it’s not fake. On the other hand, it would be best if Reham could just show her degree to the world and put the matter to rest.

Lastly, can we as a nation end cyber bullying? Can we try to see the larger picture? Can we see the other side of the coin? Can we not acknowledge the same person who has been attacked since the day she got married to Imran Khan as just another citizen of the country who is in her own ways trying to change the way western media portrays women in our nation?

Perhaps it would be better to put this behind us and wait for Reham to show her degree and cut her some slack. Let’s focus on more important issues such as those holding official government posts and looting the nation blind while having fake degrees. This Eid, let’s work on the issues that are real problems such as hate speech being delivered by the likes of Abdul Aziz, working on aiding the people of Tharparkar, helping the families of the 140 plus children who were killed in cold blood in Peshawar  and so much more. Let’s give something positive to our nation rather than bullying people.

Can we at least give it a shot to think progressive rather than regressive?

Zara Hafeez

Zara Hafeez

A digital marketer, writer, a history buff, volunteer for humanitarian causes for The James Caan Foundation, UNICEF Promise for Children, among others and a tea-aholic. She tweets as @zara_hafeez (twitter.com/zara_hafeez)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Parvez

    Point well made……I am no great fan of Reham Khan but in this particular case, as she has not stood for public office, this matter is simply ‘ muck raking ‘ by an immature media. Yes, point out stuff like her coming hours late for events specially where children are attending…..setting a terrible example.Recommend

  • http://www.thetrueperspective.com/ Hamza

    Would Reham Khan’s degree matter if she wasn’t married to Imran Khan? Probably not. But she is a person of public interest. She’s married to a man who aspires to be the prime minister of Pakistan. Not only is she a significant media personality, she is also actively involved in the politics of Imran Khan’s party. As a broadcast journalist, I find it astonishing that you don’t understand why Reham Khan’s life is under scrutiny. Moreover, the Daily Mail gave all the evidence that it could. The evidence was that “there is no evidence Reham Khan ever enrolled or was awarded a diploma/certificate/degree from North Lindsey College.” And she basically ratified the Daily Mail version when she rolled back the changes on her personal website.

    You come off across as a PTI jiyala instead of someone trying to present an objective view regarding Reham Khan’s academic credentials. You should’ve at least tried to sound impartial.Recommend

  • Jahanzeb

    Can we stop with these misleading ‘paid trollish’ articles already???Recommend

  • Sami

    Pretty bizarre arguments to provide rationales for the first lady of KP. The reason why Reham Khan was criticized is that she is the wife of the leader whose party always portray themselves to be on the higher moral ground than others. Even Miss Reham Khan used racist language in the past to state that her so called race is an epitome of perfection compared to others. So people are offended when they realized that the saints preach something else and practice something else.Recommend

  • Ilyas Anwar

    Excellent article,keep writing and more on the REAL issues facing our country to open the eyes and minds of those who can read,write and anchor but play a zero-sum game by pushing and pulling the nation in random directions ! I look forward to the day when women of your calibre will become the majority parliamentarians to run Pakistan and that day is not too far. Keep it up Zara,you are a pucca Pakistani.Recommend

  • Muhammad

    The fact of the matter that she lied & there is no justification for it!Recommend

  • Asif K. Sharif

    Yes it would matter. If she just appeared as a reporter then it wouldn’t be a big deal but she intentionally lied on Her website. In this country it is fine to make up degrees and pretend to have studied, but not in most parts of the world. It puts to shame all those who are actually shelling out money and time to study.Recommend

  • Ustad

    Very poor defence. Will insafians apply the same principles
    to other women? She is wife of the most virtuous. She should have some
    standards. Isn’t she still lying? The institute does not teach a post graduate
    diploma which she is claiming to have? Madam Author, if you get an
    undergraduate diploma after graduation, would you call it a post-graduate? And why
    a different name of diploma awarding body on her CV?Recommend

  • Person

    So it’s fine to lie?Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    Yes. She cheated BBC with that certificate to get a job.Recommend

  • Commemtator

    I agree. Why not count a person’s aptitude with the natural talent rather than with a piece of paper in the name of degree. Many people pass their academic life with great “Rattafication” but when it comes to show the skills in practical life they usually fail due to lack of natural talent.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad

    This article is a joke. We are very lucky that we got rid of this ambitious liar and her stupid husband who always run after white, modern and English speaking women.Recommend

  • aaaaa

    Murad Saeed’s jali degree mattered, and last I checked, he wasn’t married to Imran Khan. And Reham’s own actions in the wake of this news pretty much confirmed her guilt in this matter. If the allegations are false, then why doe she simply not produce said degree/diploma/whatever-she’s-calling-it-now?Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    A halfheartedly researched blog built on transference, with personal feelings used in lieu of facts.

    What ‘evidence’ is DailyMail obligated to provide for the fact that the university does not offer the course Reham Khan claims to have enrolled in? What ‘evidence’ do you have that Nishtar Medical College isn’t handing out degrees in business management? These are just bare facts that have been brought to public attention, in wake of Mrs. Khan’s claims.

    And what does this mean, precisely: “Nevertheless, one thing is for sure, Reham has a degree. From wherever it is and whatever maybe”

    You mean it shouldn’t matter if I graduate from Bahria University and boast – for professional or political gains – that I’m a graduate of Yale? Basically, one’s not only excusing this deception, but berating journalists for doing their job and actually investigating this matter.

    In short, my counter-question is: why does Reham Khan’s degree matter *less* if she’s married to an influential politician – and that too someone who’s seemingly all about transparency and cracking down on corruption?Recommend

  • Humanoids

    Well what a bad rhetoric to win an argument. Shes a cheat and IK stands against the cheats. Everybody should accept yes she got caught any excuse that oh she was caught cause she’s Mrs Khan well yes when you are in public life you are scrutinized. No one would scrutinize Mariam Nawaz had she not been the daughter of NS does not absolves the fact that a “Cheat is a cheat” using the ecuses of “important issues” and “nation looting” are not going to take this argument far. IK has not been in Public office lets wait after he finishes his term if he ever gets elected. Kindly stop idolizing and giving same excuses that PPP and PMLN stalwarts give.Recommend

  • Humanoids

    If she had the degree she would have brought it her excuses limelight the fact that she is no different form an ordinary person who got caught in the act and now giving excuses “look at the real problems” well just producing a degree would solves and facepalm the folks who accused her. Take dailymail to court like IK took Botham and Lamb for tampering and won the liable in UK.Recommend

  • afzaalkhan

    Question should be Would RK matter if she wasn’t married to IK?:PRecommend

  • Ustad

    She is a prominent TV presenter, wife of a popular politician and , above all a social activist advocating for street children and education, she should show some morality and courage. Isn’t she still lying. Grimsby Institute only offers undergraduate degrees, diplomas and certificates in media. How can she claim to do a postgraduate by completing a 120 credit hours undergraduate course?Recommend

  • Raza

    Zara, you’re being rational. And we don’t do rational in Pakistan. As much as I dislike PTI/IK/RK, there is no justification for obsessing over this person when there are loads of far more critical and worrying issues at hand. But Pakistanis will always focus on entertainment and women instead.Recommend

  • http://www.cafefiraq.blogspot.com Mohsin Shahbaz

    First of all our media failed to report the affair between Reham and Imran. Yes-yes i know its un ethical to report but what Ethical our media is doing?So it was a failure.Then another failure was the reporting of Khans Marriage which western media did the 3rd one is this degree Issue.
    Now lets assume a scenario,There is a dharna going on and suddenly an international paper publishes a Story of affair between Imran and reham both are in love and about to get married soon.Off course both denies like khan did after marriage,and the very next day we gets an other spicy story regarding the fake degree of Imrans love.What you think Imran would marry that girl?

    I am just thinking what would be reaction of PTI if this story of fake degree was reported by najam sethi and published by Jung Group not Daily Mail.
    As far as degree is concerned no there is no degree required for journalism in Pakistan.here MBBS Doctors,Engineers,Business graduates are doing Journalism.While Journalism graduates are looking for Jobs or doing other Jobs.Recommend

  • shuthtehellup

    Question is what if it was Maryam nawaz instead of her would the whole media and social network behave the same way? They would have blasted Maryam Nawaz. Shame on people who are trying to show that it does not matter if she lies. Plz stop with this rhetoric and accept the fact that she cheated and lied. She is a public figure and show some ethics.Recommend

  • https://ii-umich.academia.edu/AllyAdnan Ally Adnan

    Reham Khan would do well to just address the issue – did she lie about her qualifications in the bio on her website and, if she did not, why did she change the bio after the Daily Mail broke the story – instead of attacking newspapers, television channels and everyone else she can think of.Recommend

  • wb

    Interestingly enough, I have to say that 99% of Pakistani Tv anchors are dumb.

    First of all, I hate the word anchor, which is so often used in Pakistan TV. This alone proves my point that Pakistani TV anchors are mostly idiots.

    The correct term is EDITOR. But of course, to become an editor a journalist (either TV or print) has to have enough experience and talent. There’s no such thing called as a course or a degree (maybe fake) at being an editor.

    This is why Pakistani debates on TV tend to be extremely stupid, noisy and digressing. Even the well known editors with reputation resort to silly and base tactics.

    Hamid Mir is a good editor, but I have seen him challenge a minister to swear that he’s not an Ahmadi, because someone accused him of being an Ahmadi.

    This is why Pakistanis are bombarded with lies and propaganda day-in and day-out. Pakistanis have developed the culture of illogical arguments and baseless accusations. Pakistanis then don’t understand why their cases fail both at international forums such as UNO, International court of arbitration etc.

    So, Reham Khan’s fake degree is not surprising. I’m pretty sure there are many others with real degrees, but with zero competencies.Recommend

  • Shekky

    Yes you are the mister know it all.Recommend

  • Lolz

    Shahbaz Shareef vowed to end load-shedding in 6 months and that in front of the whole world, THIS IS A LIE! Maryam Nawaz claims to be a Phd, does she really look like one, THIS IS A LIE!Recommend

  • James Malish

    Would Reham Khan’s degree matter if she wasn’t married to Imran Khan?
    To the youthias, it doesn’t matter even if Reham Khan has degree from AXACT.Recommend

  • DWBaig

    Yes, she was working with a leading TV Channel of Pakistan wit the fake degreeRecommend

  • Asif

    Question is how many Pakistani degree holders in Pakistan can get a job at bbc. Answer ZERO. And none of pmln MNAs including PM/CM will get a janitorial job at bbc since their English is ZERORecommend

  • Asif

    Your comment shows you have never eft oak wataN. In western countries degrees don’t matter much, experience and talent does. Many Pakistani MBAs and PhDs are doing menial jobs in Canada and UK. That’s the truth. Recommend

  • Victim unjustified

    We poor people financial y facing hardship but still studying to get university certified degree but these crooked gets fake degrees and took our jobs, must sentence harsh punishment ln order to the other can learn lesson.Recommend

  • SP

    Best write-up I’ve seen on the issue on either side of the Border to date!Recommend

  • Sehrish Naeem

    any body can be in bbc if you are British national and of 18 years old, bbc is not geo or express news …. its a big organization, , she work for south regional weather news only, after working in legal tv and she admit that she had an affair with the south regional weather news producer, and her pictures were leak in media with him

    She wont able to post her degree online over any plate form and changing over website is the proof of her guilt, I think she dont have BA degree even from Peshawar University
    Recommend

  • KK Tumani

    more she tries to get into politics more stuff will come out. she should work on producing movies, that is safe zone. she is trying to be nusrat Bhutto but without making any sacrifices. IK needs to keep an eye on her as he doesn’t want his party hijacked.Recommend

  • https://savemeifyouseethis.wordpress.com/ Aether Skyle

    I’m sorry but your second statement was very absurd indeed. This is the problem with Pakistanis; we base our judgments, opinions and actions on flimsy and sometimes non-existent evidence, irrational prejudices and our own flawed intuitions.Recommend

  • https://savemeifyouseethis.wordpress.com/ Aether Skyle

    I wonder how you can possibly call such a piece rational..Recommend