Mr. Malik said Ms. Siddiqui was not the woman whose pictures were sent to him
In a day of bizarre twists and turns, the controversy surrounding the proposed marriage of tennis star Sania Mirza with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik has become more complicated.
Mr. Malik on Monday publicly rejected the demand for a divorce from Ayesha Siddiqui, arguing that he had never married her, even as Ms. Siddiqui issued a public reiteration that she had enough proof to substantiate the claim of marriage.
Police recorded the statements of Mr. Malik, who is currently staying in Ms. Mirza's house, and those of Ms. Siddiqui.
With the police taking possession of Mr. Malik's passport and issuing an alert to all international airports to ensure that he did not leave the country, the Pakistan High Commission also got involved and assured all possible assistance to the cricketer.
Just before noon, the police walked into the house to talk to Mr. Malik, and by 4.30 p.m., the would-be couple addressed a press conference.
“There is no question of tendering any apology; there is no scope for postponement of marriage and no chance of an out-of-the-court settlement,” Ms. Mirza said, appealing against a trial by the media. Mr. Malik said Ms. Siddiqui was not the woman whose pictures were sent to him.
“Yes, the signature on the ‘Nikahnama' is mine, but the marriage never took place. I repeat, I have never met her. Why is she hiding behind the cameras?”
He said the charge that Ms. Siddiqui had suffered a miscarriage had to be proved. “I am not running away. I have come here to come clean and I have cooperated with the police.”
Ms. Siddiqui's advocate Waliur Rehman and her family doctor Syed Shams Babar said at a media conference that they had proof to substantiate the charges. “All we want is a public apology and a divorce. Nothing more.”
Arguing his case .... Shoaib Malik, right, flanked by Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.