Prominent Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney said on Tuesday he would visit India to “dig out the truth” about the claim that cricketer Shoaib Malik, who is all set to wed Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, is already married.
“It has become a issue of human dignity and women’s rights so he decided to visit India and to dig out the truth,” a statement from the Ansar Burney Trust said.
The decision follows a phone call from the mother of Ayesha Siddiqui, who claims to be Shoaib’s first wife. She “invited him to India with a request for justice for her daughter and family with dignity and honour”, the statement added.
“If the claim of Ayesha Siddiqui is correct, then the Ansar Burney Trust will ask Shoaib to accept his earlier marriage and say sorry to Ayesha and the Indian and Pakistani nations as well,” the statement added.
If the claim is proved otherwise, Ayesha “will have to say sorry”.
Burney’s office has requested the Indian High Commission here to issue him a visa on an urgent basis to enable him visit India to meet both the parties, Online news agency reported.
Burney is a former minister for human rights. A posting on the Ansar Burney Trust website says it was established in 1980 and is “the first organization to introduce true human rights in Pakistan”.
On Monday, Shoaib’s Indian lawyer had said the cricketer does not want to tarnish the image of the girl whom he had taken to be Ayesha Siddiqui by releasing her photographs in public.
“Shoaib has specifically told me not to disclose the photographs of the girl as it will harm her image,” senior advocate Ramesh Gupta told IANS in New Delhi.
Earlier Monday, the cricketer insisted he was innocent and would not leave India until he was cleared of charges of marrying Ayesha that emerged soon after the announcement of his April 15 marriage to Sania.
Shoaib has rejected Ayesha’s demand for a divorce, saying he signed a ‘nikahnama’ or marriage document for marrying a girl whose photographs he had been sent.
Ayesha Sunday lodged a police complaint in Hyderabad against Shoaib for cheating her and going ahead with his second marriage with Sania without divorcing her. She filed the complaint under sections 498 A (harassment), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
Following this, the police seized his passport and extensively quizzed him on Monday.
The Siddiquis claim that Shoaib married their daughter in 2002, but has not divorced her till date.