Friday, 9 April 2010

Sania Mirza-Shoaib Malik marriage: Qazis seek police clearance certificate

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, April 9: The chief qazis of Hyderabad and Secunderabad on Friday arrived at a consensus that they should insist on production of police clearance and no objection certificates, besides the passport in original, to solemnise the marriage of Pakistani cricket player Shoaib Malik with Indian tennis player Sania Mirza.

The chief qazis took up the issue of marriage of Shoaib Malik-Sania Mirza, as some enthusiastic deputy qazis vied with one another to solemnise the celebrity wedding. They made it clear that since Shoaib Malik is a foreigner, the deputy qazis should not rush in to perform his marriage, without duly verifying his credentials.

Moreover, it is in the interest of Sania Mirza that the passport details of Shoaib Malik are entered in the Nikahnamah. Based on the Nikahnama, the State Wakf Board will issue a marriage certificate, which will be revalidated by the Union Ministry of External Affairs. If the passport details of Shoaib Malik are not entered in the marriage certificate, Sania Mirza will not travel to Lahore for the grand reception, as the wife of the Pakistani cricketer. Without the details, she will get the visa as just a companion or visitor and not as a legal wife.

Ever since the news of Sania-Shoaib broke out, there has been a virtual fight among deputy qazis. It is this fight that led to rumours of advancement of Sania-Shoaib marriage on Friday. A deputy qazi attached to Golconda jurisdiction announced that he had been invited to perform the marriage on Friday evening. The deputy qazi stuck to his word throughout the day, only to backtrack in the evening.

"Our marriage records are incomplete if we do not make entry, in the Nikahnama, of passport details and the duration of the stay as granted in the visa. We have instructed our deputy qazis not to perform the marriage of local girls with foreigners without physically verifying the passport and NOC obtained from respective national governments," Qazi Lateef Ali Quadri, one of the three government-appointed chief qazis of Golconda (Qila Muhammad Nagar), that covers a major portion of new city of Hyderabad.

According to sources, the chief qazis of Secunderabad, Hyderabad old city (Shariat Panah Balda Hyderabad) and Golconda (Qila Muhammad Nagar Bara Mahal) discussed the issue of Shoaib Malik's NOC and passport. Incidentally, Shoaib Malik reportedly did not keep a photocopy of his passport, which is now in judicial custody.

The rumours are also linked to the infighting in the institution of Golconda Qazi, under whose jurisdiction the residence of Sania Mirza falls. Golconda Darul Qazat is controlled by four chief qazis, three of whom are appointed by the State government. The fourth one is continuing in office on AP High Court stay orders.

Deputy Qazi Azmatullah Jafri told this correspondent that he had spoken to the media only after he got a call from Sania's family. "I was told that the Nikah will be held on Friday evening insha Allah. I have been waiting, but they have not confirmed it," he said clarifying that he had not floated the rumours.

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