New Delhi/Hyderabad, Mar 31 (IANS): Indian tennis star Sania Mirza Tuesday said her marriage with former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik next month had nothing to do with India-Pakistan politics.
A day after her family confirmed the marriage with Malik, she said they would settle in Dubai after the marriage and would continue to represent their respective countries in their games.
"We are getting married. We are not making any political statement. It is simple," she said when asked if the marriage would help improve India-Pakistan relations.
To another query, she said was aware of the problems between the two countries. "I would be lying if I say I am not aware of the problems. Of course, there are issues."
"This is a happy moment, you should not talk such things while taking sweets. Be happy that we are getting married. We both are happy. Our families are happy. I don't think we can ask for more," she said when asked to comment on protests by right-wing Hindu groups against her proposed marriage with a Pakistani.
"Nothing will change. I am going to keep playing. Right now I am nursing an injury and it is a great time to get married," she said with a laugh.
On the controversy about Malik's reported marriage with a girl from Hyderabad, the tennis star said she always lived in the present.
"We will settle in Dubai after the marriage. I am going to play for India and he will Inshallah play for Pakistan," she said, adding "Dubai is my second home. There are many Indians and Pakistanis there. It is home away from home."
"I will play Olympics in 2012 and after that we will talk what my first child will do," she said when a reporter wanted to know if she wants her children to play tennis or cricket.
On which country she would support in India-Pakistan cricket matches, Sania said she would support India but would also support her husband. Sania said she met Malik six to seven years ago.
Her father Imran Mirza said the two families met and liked each other. They said the wedding reception would be held in Hyderabad on April 15 while the venue of the wedding would be decided later. "We will go to Pakistan for the Valima reception. The date for the same will be decided during the reception in Hyderabad," she added.
Sania and her family secured Pakistani visas Tuesday ahead of their wedding. Earlier, Sania's mother Naseema Mirza told reporters in Delhi that the family was set to travel to Lahore, where the marriage is expected to take place early next month.
Malik told journalists in Lahore that the wedding date would be decided by the two families.
"Insha Allah, we are getting married soon," Malik said. "Our parents will decide the date. We (Sania and I) are very happy. Our families are also very happy."
Naseema Mirza said: "We have got the Pakistani visas. Naturally, we will be going to Pakistan. We are all very happy for Sania."
An official at the Pakistan high commission in New Delhi confirmed that visa applications of 23-year-old Sania, her younger sister and their parents had been processed.
Shoaib's family has also applied for Indian visas, Pakistani media reported.
Sania is perhaps the first Indian sporting celebrity to marry a Pakistani, who is also a sports star in his country.
Her surprise decision came two months after she called off her engagement to childhood friend Sohrab Mirza, citing incompatibility. Sohrab Mirza is the son of a Hyderabad-based businessman.
Sania was reportedly seeing Malik for the last few weeks. Sources close to Sohrab's family believe this could be the reason she called off the engagement.
Interestingly, Malik was also engaged to Ayesha Siddiqui a Hyderabad girl some years ago but later called it off. The family of Ayesha had even claimed that he had married her but Malik denied this.
Malik said in January 2008 that his marriage plans with Ayesha ended because both families could not reach an understanding over certain issues.
However, Ayesha's family claimed that they married through nikah over telephone in 2002. Ayesha's father M.A. Siddiqui had threatened to sue Malik for cheating and asked him to give a divorce.
Malik had reportedly met Ayesha in Dubai. The Pakistani cricket team was given a grand reception by Ayesha's parents at their Hyderabad house when the team toured India in 2005.