“Sania Mirza knows the truth and the family members from both sides are all happy about my wedding which is going to take place in Hyderabad on April 15,” said former Pakistani captain Shoaib Malik, who is in Hyderabad to get into the preparatory mode for the celebrity wedding.

In his first interaction with the media after arriving in Hyderabad last Friday night, a visibly relaxed Shoaib repeatedly stressed he was not going to discuss anything about his alleged marriage with another Hyderabad girl Ayesha Siddiqui earlier.

“The matter is sub-judice and my lawyer will answer any queries on the subject,” was all that he would say despite grilling by the crowded media.

However the two-page statement issued by him referred to the subject in detail.

The Pakistani cricketer also made it clear that Sania will continue to play for India and he will represent Pakistan. “We are delighted at the way preparations are going on. The list of invitees is not yet finalised and we are still in the process of doing so. Definitely, all my family members will be here for the wedding since both Sania and I have the blessings of everyone concerned,” he explained.

Saturday’s uneasy calm at Sania’s residence is slowly transforming into the preparatory mood with a discernible tinge of joy, 10 days ahead of the marriage. In fact, Malik landed in Hyderabad to the surprise of the media but not to Imran’s family. The cricketer arrived early to get the mandatory clearances from different government channels, it was learnt.

The invitation cards are ready and the distribution to the 500-odd ‘select’ guests will take place soon.

Sania’s family members staunchly believe that Malik is clean and that they are not naïve enough to gamble on such an important subject involving the wedding of their daughter. “We believe in the Almighty and in whatever we know about Malik. We are going ahead with the marriage plans. Whatever controversies have cropped up are not because of our making,” they insist.

Sania, for her part, re-asserts that she should know Malik better than anyone else since she decided on him to be her life-partner.

No nikah, says Malik

In the statement released by him, Malik, reiterated that there was no valid nikah because they (Ayesha’s family) pressurized him into it, with the intention to cheat. “In Islam, there can be a divorce, only if the nikah is valid. I was wrongly made to believe that the pictures Ayesha had sent me were of the girl I was marrying. I feel terrible about the mess, created by a family, that has caused great grief to my own people and the family of my bride-to-be,” Malik asserted.

The statement also includes the opinion on nikah by Mohammed Khader Ali, Sadar Qazi (chief Qazi) of Hyderabad and president of AP Association of Qazis on nikah and the Muslim Law.

“In Muslim Law, it is about the process, the procedure. There can be no tampering with that. Secondly, Meher (dowry or a specified sum of money), presence of two witnesses (one from the bride’s and one from the groom’s side), vakhil (guardian of the bride) and finally the bride and the groom, all these parties have to sign the nikahnama at the time of nikah,” the chief Qazi explains.

Significantly, the Sadar Qazi clarified that the telephone nikah is no longer valid. “This is because all parties, that I had earlier mentioned, cannot be at the same place to sign the nikahnama if the nikah is taking place over the telephone, with the bride and groom in different cities or countries,” he pointed out.

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