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Wednesday, 5 April, 2000, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Imran angry at unfair portrayal
Jemima, Imran and Suleyman Khan
Jemima and Imran Khan, pictured in 1997 with son Suleyman
Imran Khan, the Pakistani cricket star-turned politician, has attacked media portrayals which describe his family's living condition as unhealthy and spartan.

In an interview with British newspaper, The Times, Imran and his wife Jemima described the media reaction to an interview by Vanity Fair magazine as "overblown".

The reports painted a grim picture of life for the daughter of the late billionaire, Sir James Goldsmith.


Clearly life is not like it would be in a Western country

Imran Khan
Jemima and her children, Vanity Fair said, were living in a cramped Lahore apartment, with power failures and water shortages and were frequently ill as a result.

But the couple told The Times that they now lived in Islamabad - in a seven-bedroom property in one of the city's most exclusive areas.

Western bias

Imran said the articles were another example of the Western media's negative portrayal of life in a developing country.

"Sure I have never lived in extreme comfort, but compared to the people of Pakistan, I think it is a very comfortable existence," he told The Times.

Jemima Khan:
Jemima Khan: "Perfectly happy"
"Clearly life is not like it would be in a Western country. It is a comfortable life in America ... with lights, water and electricity," he said.

"In Pakistan, everyone knows that these things break down. Jemima knew from day one what life here was like; she came out and saw it for herself," he added.

Imran's comments were echoed by Jemima Khan who dismissed the idea that she was unhappy in Pakistan.

"I am perfectly happy with my life out here and very settled," she said.


As far as adapting to the culture is concerned, I never had problems with that

Jemima Khan
"The problem is that if I say Imran is a very unmaterialistic man and that a life of luxury doesn't matter to him, that gets interpreted as 'Imran forces me to lead a life of misery', and it's not what I am saying," Jemima said.

Struggle

In the Vanity Fair interview, Jemima Khan was quoted as saying that her husband was frequently away on political work.

She also said that he had given away most of his money and possessions to charity and "was practically penniless" when she met him.

"The health problems are the most difficult for me, the fact that I'm quite often sick and the children are sick," she said.

"But as far as adapting to the culture is concerned, I never had problems with that. It may be that my upbringing was so unconventional it prepared me," she added.

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08 Nov 99 | South Asia
Jemima returns to smuggling charges
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