Omar requests privacy over marriage rift | india | Hindustan Times
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Omar requests privacy over marriage rift

india Updated: Sep 15, 2011 23:29 IST
HT Correspondent

While appealing to the media for "space and privacy", Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday rubbished speculations about his remarriage.

"While it is true my wife and I have separated the speculation about motives and about my future course of action are unfounded, untrue and deeply hurtful to all concerned," Abdullah said in a statement issued through the directorate of information.

Abdullah was married to Payal Nath, daughter of an army officer from New Delhi for the last 17 years.

The couple has two sons, Zahir, 13, and Zamir, 11.

Rubbishing reports that claimed he was considering marriage to a "high profile Delhi-based media person" or a politician's relative he said, "It is a pity that while repeating these lies no effort was made to ask me whether any of this is true."

The reports were fuelled by Payal's absence from various social and political functions, including this year's Independence Day celebrations.

Sources close to the family told HT that the couple had been living separately for over a year and have agreed on a divorce with mutual consent.

Abdullah added, "At this point my concern has to and will remain my young sons who do not deserve to see themselves splashed across the news channels and pages of newspapers in this manner."

The Abdullahs are one of the only few multi-religious, political families of India tied to other communities through marriage.

While Abdullah's father Farooq Abdullah is married to Molly Abdullah, who shifted to London after militancy erupted in the state, his younger sister Sarah married Sachin Pilot.