The lying truth: Shoaib Malik
The Shoaib Malik-Ayesha Siddiqui controversy appears to have eclipsed the proposed marriage of Indian Tennis Star Sania Mirza to the former Pakistan Cricket Captain on April 15. I have been following the developments with keen interest but was not able to find answers to many questions that got raised during the extensive media coverage. First and foremost question pertained to Shoaib Malik. He has come out as a very dicey character in the whole episode and his statements to the media have been far from consistent.
By finally accepting that he was indeed married to Ayesha, Shoaib has tried to redeem himself. But his credibility is so low now that no one is ever going to believe in him in future. One wonders how Sania’s family will reconcile to getting their daughter married to a man who has come out as a consumate liar in the end. He should be grateful that the Siddiquis have decided to file an application seeking withdrawal of the complaint against him. But so far as Sania goes, even her credibility has been badly affected since she stood next to him and vouched for his genuineness before media persons. She also owes an apology to Ayesha Siddiqui. The compromise could have easily been reached much earlier had Shoaib not taken such an abrasive and untruthful stand.
He, however, found himself to be trapped since the police started proceeding against him on the basis of concrete evidence provided to them by the Siddiquis. He knew that the statements made by him would also play out in the court when it started hearing the case registered on the basis of allegations made by the family of Ayesha alias Maha Siddiqui who has turned out to be his first wife as claimed by her. Incidentally, Ayesha is a holy name amongst Muslims and was also the name acquired by Sharmila Tagore when she converted to Islam to have her Nikah many years ago with a top cricketer, Mansoor Ali Khan, the erstwhile Nawab of Pataudi.
Cricket and glamour have been very close to each other. In the past, Indian actress Reena Roy had married Pakistan Opener Mohsin Khan. Another Pakistani, Imran Khan was at one time supposed to have had an association with Zeenat Aman. Former Indian Captain, Mohammad Azharuddin who was already married tied the knot with top model Sangeeta Bijlani. Cricket legend Garfield Sobers had a fling with Anju Mahendru and later another West Indian, Vivian Richards had an intense relationship with Neena Gupta. The couple also has a love child. In the latest instance, Sania Mirza who is now getting married to Shoaib provides the glamour quotient.
Shoaib’s reliability was also at stake since he had accepted being married to a Hyderabad girl at Hyderabad on March 30, 2005 before a packed stadium during an India Pakistan match when Arun Lal, well known cricketer and commentator was interviewing him. Before that he had conceded this fact while talking to Geo TV in Pakistan. His team mates even visited the Siddiqui household five years ago.
The second question that arose was that that why should the two (Shoaib-Sania) been in such a tearing hurry to tie the knot. I do not wish to interfere in their personal business but since both are celebrities, they could have easily waited for Shoaib’s name to be cleared in the controversy involving Ayesha Siddiqui. The bravado by the two (Shoaib and Sania) turned out to be without any foundations at the end. There should have been nothing for them to really fear. It would also have come as a matter of relief to Sania’s fans if the person she is marrying was above any kind of suspicion.
His name is yet to be cleared in the match fixing allegations concerning Pakistan’s tour of Australia and New Zealand and since he is a public figure it should be in the fitness of things that he should clear it immediately. Or are they already married as some newspaper reports seem to suggest? Another Pakistan Cricketer Sarfaraz Nawaz has accused Shoaib of selling his country. He has also made other allegations including some related to Sania as well. Why he has not been taken seriously is because he is in the habit of coming out with conspiracy theories. He has even claimed that if Sania belongs to the Kadyani sect, she cannot be acceptable in Pakistan. He should know that these things even if they were true do not matter when two persons are in love.
It is evident that Sania’s family was convinced of his innocence, both in the cricket allegations and those leveled by the Siddiquis. But the culmination of the Siddiqui saga showed that they too were both worried and concerned. Thirdly, another question which arose was that Ayesha like Sania belongs to a very respectable family of Hyderabad. It is hard to believe that any family of that kind of background would have come out in the open and made false claims. The body language of her parents and of family friends was consistent with their claim. The hurt, the anguish and the anger all came to the forefront vividly. They escalated the matter by going to the police and it was obvious that they were not going to allow Shoiab to get away so easily.
They were not demanding anything from him except that he should publicly acknowledge his marriage to Ayesha and release their daughter. Ayesha did not come out in public view since she is said to be obese and in no psychological condition to do so. Shoaib had been challenging her to come out. If he had spoken to the media on the contentious subject, it was only after Sania came out and stood besides him to lend him moral support. Many people are not happy regarding the kind of defence Sania was extending to him but if the two have to be married it is something natural. But in this case, it is also an instance where Shoaib who himself lacks credibility was drawing it from Sania. But in the end, both have turned out to be losers so far as trustability goes.
Many more developments may take place in the ensuing days but even if the wedding takes place on the fixed day, the controversy is not going to easily die down. One only hopes that things get sorted out as per the satisfaction of all those concerned. It is nobody’s victory. But Sania and Shoaib have lost out very badly in respect of their reliability.