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Pakistan to fully back Shoaib Malik: Foreign office

world Updated: Apr 05, 2010 17:30 IST

Pakistan said on Monday it would fully back cricketer Shoaib Malik as he contests cheating charges by Ayesha Siddiqui, a resident of Hyderabad in India, who claims to be his first wife and has demanded a divorce before he weds Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told reporters that the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi was in touch with the Indian authorities and had asked for details about the First Information Report (FIR) the Hyderabad police filed against Malik on Sunday following Ayesha's complaint.

"We will have to wait till the details of the FIR are with us," Basit added.

The Hyderabad police Monday seized Malik's passport after questioning him for nearly two hours at Sania Mirza's home on Ayesha's complaint.

Shoaib was unhappy that his passport had been seized and said he would complain to the Pakistan High Commission, police sources said. He was questioned at Sania's Jubilee Hills home.

Assistant Commissioner of Police R. Ravinder Reddy told reporters after the questioning that the case was under investigation but refused to answer any queries.

Another team of police officials recorded Ayesha's statement at her residence in Banjara Hills. She handed over the 'nikahnama', or marriage document, which has been sent to the forensic laboratory to verify Shoaib's signature.

Police posed several questions to Ayesha and her parents regarding her complaint. She reportedly gave details of Shoaib's stay in Hyderabad during his visits after the marriage.

Shoaib, who landed in Hyderabad Friday, has been staying at Sania's house in preparation for their April 15 wedding.

Since Ayesha's charges of cheating, dowry harassment and criminal intimidation are serious and non-bailable, the police Sunday night alerted all airports to prevent Shoaib from leaving India.

She alleged that Shoaib had offered her $1 million to keep mum about their marriage. She also stated that he threatened her to not speak to the media.

The FIR has been booked under sections 498 A (harassment), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. Section 498 A also relates to cruelty against married women.

A senior police officer said they were also taking legal opinion on the complaint against Shoaib as it involved a foreigner and the crimes might have been committed by him abroad.

The police may also have to take permission from the union home ministry before arresting Shoaib.

Shoaib had Sunday denied marrying Ayesha saying he signed a 'nikahnama' for marrying a girl whose photographs she had been sending him.