Media frenzy over the proposed wedding of two celebrities, tennis star Sania Mirza and Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, continued on Saturday, while another twist was added to Shoaib's divorce of Ayesha Siddiqui.
Doubts were raised over the validity of the divorce signed on a non-judicial bond paper by Shoaib and Ayesha. The papers mentioned Shoaib's father's name as Malik Salim Hussain, while it is Malik Fakir Hussain. While the Mirza family maintained a studied silence on the issue, Ayesha's advocate Wali-ur-Rahman said Shoaib may have to file another petition to correct the name. With the media glare continuing on the marriage slated for April 15, the Mirza family had retained the services of a public relations company.
A statement issued in the afternoon on the ‘happenings' in the Mirza house informed that family members of Shoaib and Sania were practising for participating in a ‘sangeet' programme; that Sania's aunts had cooked Chinese food on Friday night; that Sania craved for ‘bhelpuri' but could not venture out fearing the media; that the tennis star enjoyed the savoury snack brought by her relatives from outside; that she had played carrom with her mother and Shoaib before retiring to bed.
The unsigned statement maintained that information was being provided to the media as promised by Mr. Imran Mirza, Sania's father. It said that Shoaib's mother, brother, sisters, brother-in-law, niece and nephew had arrived from Pakistan and some more family members are expected to arrive from Germany shortly.
Meanwhile, Mr. Rahman alleged that he was not consulted before the community elders had convinced both Shoaib and Ayesha to sign the divorce papers. He said the mediators were in such a hurry that they had overlooked the error in the papers.
However, Shoaib could now file another affidavit correcting the name. A Mirza family member, who was not willing to be identified, agreed that it was not certainly the way the family wanted Sania's wedding to take place. “Honestly, we never expected the issue to take such dramatic and ugly turns. This has clearly hurt the feelings of everyone related to Sania and Malik,” the relative told The Hindu.
“Yes, may be, we are paying a heavy price for Sania being a celebrity and more so since she is marrying a Pakistani,” the relative said.