Shoaib says no ‘nikah’ took place with Ayesha


Hyderabad : Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik Sunday claimed that no ‘nikah’ or marriage took place with Ayesha Siddiqui and hence there was no need for him to divorce her.

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In his first comments over his alleged first marriage with Ayesha Siddiqui, Shoaib said he signed the ‘nikahnama’ thinking that he was marrying the girl whose photographs were sent to him. He quoted chief qazi of Hyderabad as saying that the ‘nikah’ was not valid as it did not meet the conditions prescribed in Islam.

The cricketer released a statement to the press in front of the residence of Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, who he is marrying April 15 here.

The Pakistani claimed that Ayesha Siddiqui was the girl who had introduced herself as Maha Apa or elder sister of Ayesha and had taken him around in Hyderabad during his visits.

Shoaib said he or his brother-in-law could never meet Ayesha during their visits to Hyderabad.

Shoaib, who arrived here has been staying at Sania’s house for the last two days, came out to release the statement to the waiting media but declined to answer queries saying his lawyer would answer them.

A nervous-looking Shoaib told reporters that the marriage with Sania would take place in Hyderabad on April 15. “I have come here for my wedding with Sania Mirza and we are happy,” he said. Shoaib said Sania knew the truth and she had been supportive of him.

To a query about Sania’s tennis career, he said she would play as long as she wished to play. “She has been representing India and will continue to represent India,” he said to another query.

Shoaib claimed that Ayesha had starting making phone calls to him in 2001 when he was in Sharjah with the Pakistani team.

“Naturally I wanted to meet her. Every time I brought up the topic of meeting, she would send me a bunch of photographs,” the statement said.

The cricketer claimed that he was made to believe that he was speaking to the girl in the photograph. “The truth is that I have, to this day, not met the girl in the photograph,” he said.

He said when he came to Hyderabad in 2002 to meet Ayesha, he was told that she had left for Saudi Arabia for some urgent work. “She told me over phone that Rema and Maha Apa would take me around,” he claimed.

Later, Shoaib was informed that Ayesha was not meeting him as she had put on weight and would come before him only after shedding some weight. He was also told that the photographs sent to him were old ones. The Pakistani said in 2002 Ayesha forced him into marriage over telephone saying people in Hyderabad had started talking about their relationship and this had put her parents in embarrassing position.

“We accidentally ran into the truth about who Ayesha was. It was worst moment of my life. No one enjoys being made a fool of and that was exactly how I was made fool of,” he said.

“It happened in August 2005. My brother-in-law got a photograph of a teacher in Saudi Arabia who was telling people around her that Shoaib is married to me. His nephews were studying in that school. I was aghast when he showed me the photograph of the teacher. The woman in the photograph was the woman I called Maha Apa.”

“I immediately confronted Maha Apa. I told her I didn’t want to speak to her again. I told Ayesha I was going to release photographs she had been mailing me to the media. She apologized and told me that the other girl was married and that I would ruin her life if I release the photographs. I thought about it, who so ever is in the photograph does not even know about all this and it would not be fair to release the pictures.”