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Sania, Shoaib meet Indian HC; Shoaib's visa extended for year

world Updated: Apr 23, 2010 19:22 IST

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Newly-weds Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik on Friday met Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal, following which the Pakistani cricketer was granted a one year visa extension.

During the brief meeting, the couple requested the High Commissioner to extend the visa of Shoaib which was valid till June 24, officials said.

Shoaib's visa was later granted an extension of one year and permits him to visit cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Sania's mother Naseema Mirza accompanied the couple to the Indian mission. Sania had sought the meeting on Thursday.

During the meeting Sabharwal wished them well and hoped they would have a "long and happy married life", Indian High Commission spokesman Siddharth Zutshi said.

The Indian envoy, however, is not hosting any reception for the couple, the officials said.

The high-profile couple arrived in Pakistan on Thursday to a frenzied reception, with the federal government according them the status of "state guests".

After flying into Karachi from Mumbai on Thursday afternoon after their wedding on April 12, the couple arrived in the federal capital Thursday evening.

The couple and their entourage were received by senior police and civil officials at Benazir Bhutto airport in Rawalpindi and driven to Serena Hotel in Islamabad.

Coverage of Sania and Shoaib's every move dominated news bulletins on TV channels though Pakistan is grappling with a crippling energy crisis that has sparked protests across the country.

Footage on television showed Sania holding Shoaib's hand, as they emerged from the aircraft at the Rawalpindi airport.

While airing reports on the couple, Geo News channel ran a ticker that read: "Welcome Sania-Shoaib".

The security arrangements put in place for the couple's drive from the airport in Rawalpindi to Islamabad were akin to those made for VVIPs such as the Prime Minister and President, and outsiders were barred from the Serena by the hotel's management.