Sania's family feared Shoaib's arrest

Split and merger: Ayesha had submitted clinching evidence to the police

Sania's family feared Shoaib's arrest

All’s well that ends well: Farisa Siddiqui, the mother of Ayesha Siddiqui, addresses journalists during a press conference in Hyderabad on Wednesday. AFP

This question is doing the rounds after Shoaib, who is scheduled to marry Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza here April 15, signed the divorce papers and sent the same to Ayesha Siddiqui on Wednesday after the latter agreed to withdraw the police case against him.

Ayesha, during her statement to police on Tuesday, was believed to have given clinching evidence against Shoaib. According to sources close to her family, it included medical evidence that Ayesha had become pregnant after the marriage and even had a miscarriage. The woman had also submitted ‘nikahnama’ which carried the signature of Shoaib, details of his visit to Hyderabad after their wedding in 2002, the places where they stayed and the persons they met in Hyderabad.
Notwithstanding his spirited defence, Shoaib was worried after police grilled him on Monday following a criminal case booked against him on the basis of complaint by Ayesha and seizure of his passport. He was charged with cheating, harassment and criminal intimidation.

While community elders claim to have worked out the compromise in the larger interest of the relations between Indian and Pakistan and the community, sources said the solution was arrived at after Sania Mirza’s family made hectic efforts fearing Shoaib’s arrest.

Sania’s family was worried that Shoaib’s arrest, legal tangle and the continuing adverse media publicity could force the postponement of the marriage. They roped in some key Muslim political and religious leaders who contacted Ayesha’s family to find a way out, sources said.

With only a week to go for the marriage, Sania’s parents also convinced Shoaib to agree for a compromise and sign divorce papers without bothering whether the girl is Ayesha or Maha. Shoaib was given to believe that he was giving a divorce to the girl he married over phone. Shoaib had maintained that he signed the ‘nikahnama’ for marrying the girl whose photographs were sent to him. He had declined to give divorce saying he knew her as Maha Apa or elder sister of Ayesha.

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