HYDERABAD: Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, whose passport was taken away by police, on Monday said he will not leave India till he clears his name and that he was being emotionally blackmailed by Ayesha who claims to have married him.
Appearing before the media with Sania Mirza, who he is going to marry on April 15, by side, he said he has not done anything wrong and questioned why Ayesha was not appearing in public to make her allegations.
Both he and Sania said they were from respectable families with the tennis star adding that "to see my future husband like this (answering questions about marriage) is painful for both the families".
Shoaib was questioned at Sania’s house this morning by a team of police officials who took his passport and alerted immigration authorities after asking him not to leave India.
"I’m here for the marriage and to clear my name. I’m not leaving the country. Inshallah, I’ll clear my name. I have no objections (to police taking the passport) and I’m cooperating with the police and Indian government. I have got respect for the authorities and I will do everything to clear my name. I’m ready to face any type of questions. I’ll get my passport in the evening," Shoaib said.
Though police did not disclose much about their investigations in the case registered on the basis of the complaint filed by Ayesha’s father MA Siddiqui, officials said Shoaib told them during questioning that he was tricked into the marriage.
Asked about the allegations by Ayesha Siddiqui, who claims she was pregnant through Shoaib, he said, "I just want to ask something. I don’t know her exactly why she is making these allegations behind the camera. Where is she. Ten years back I was 18-years-old. Find out her age."
He said first she has to prove (the marriage) in a court of law but maintained that the ‘nikahnama’ was invalid. Better leave the issue to courts, he said.
Sania interjected to say that "we are all from very respectable families. These are questions people (don’t) face before getting married. That is not what we want. We want to clear his name and as Indian, it’s my responsibility and our responsibility to let police investigate."
She also questioned the ‘nikahnama’ saying "If there was no ‘nikah’, it cannot be proved. If the court proves, then he will do whatever is required. If it is not proved by them, then we know, our families know what to do."
Sania also asked the media to leave the issue to the court, saying it’s not right to discuss it in public.
"Of course I’m upset (to face questions) but we are happy that we are together and we are happy that we are getting married," she said.
Shoaib ridiculed the Siddiqui family’s demand for divorcing their daughter before the impending marriage saying, "I know only Maha apa (elder sister). Please for God’s sake how can they ask me to divorce her."
To a question whether they have made an offer of money to sort out the issue, Shoaib shot back saying "Why one million, say one billion."
Sania said they were not going for any out-of-court settlement. Maintaining that calling names was not good, she said the chief Qazi of Hyderabad has already held that there can be no telephone ‘nikah’.
Again when asked whether he had stayed with Ayesha in hotels, Shoaib replied he was still in the dark about who was Ayesha. "I have met only ‘apa’ which means elder sister."
He said his family would definitely be coming for the marriage.
"I want to respect all. I’m not like them. Till (the alleged marriage) is not proved I cannot be touched by anybody," he said.
Asked what were his plans, he said he was waiting for the report of investigations.
"They are investigating it and I’m sure they would not find anything because I did nothing. Once that news comes then I’ll decide what to do," he said.
He said he spoke to Pakistan High Commissioner who said he had the government’s backing.
Earlier in the day, Dr Shams Babar, the relative of the Siddiquis, addressed a press conference outside their residence in Banjara Hills, claiming that Ayesha had a miscarriage and that information on it was part of "several proofs" that were handed over to the police to "nail" Shoaib.
He said even now what they were demanding was only an apology and divorce from Shoaib and not any monetary compensation.
"He should acknowledge the marriage with Ayesha and now give her divorce. If he does so we are prepared to drop the charges against Shoaib," Babar said.
"We do not want any monetary damages or help from Shoaib. If the things are set right, we have no objection to the proposed marriage of Shoaib and Sania Mirza. It’s (an issue) only between Siddiqui’s and Shoaib Malik," he said.
The Pakistani cricketer had on Sunday claimed that he was emotionally forced into the ‘nikahnama’ with the Hyderabad girl but said the marriage was invalid as her family had cheated him and ruled out divorce.
Sania said it was painful to face unpleasant questions days before her marriage.
"We all come from respectable families and these are not nice questions. We would rather get married and be happy than answer questions about first marriage, second marriage," she said.
The tennis star said she and her family had complete faith in Shoaib who never hid anything from them.
"Me and my family have known the truth all along. At no point he kept us in the dark. Even when he decided to go ahead with the marriage (with Ayesha), he informed us," Sania said.
Shoaib’s Delhi-based lawyer Ramesh Gupta said he had no apprehensions about the cricketer getting arrested here.
"Shoaib’s passport and mobile have been seized by police. We have not decided on seeking an anticipatory bail yet and we have no apprehension that he will be arrested," Gupta said. (PTI)