by Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, April 5 (IANS) Despite all the drama surrounding the upcoming wedding of Indian tennis star Sania Mirza with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, Miss Pakistan Ayesha Gilani is all too eager to welcome Sania 'bhabhi' to Pakistan and said the marriage would be a "beacon of hope and peace" for bilateral ties.
"Sania bhabhi and Shoaib make a great couple and both are from the sports world, so they suit each other. And I don't think they are that apart in culture as Shoaib also has some remaining family in India,'' the 27-year-old Miss Pakistan told IANS in an interview.
The wedding between the two sports stars, she said, will help thaw the current frosty relations between India and Pakistan.
" I think this marriage can prove to be pretty good to show the world an example of Pakistan and India relations. Of course they may not represent the two nations but at least people can look up to them as a beacon of hope and peace for Pakistan-India relations,'' said Gilani who is currently studying English and Administration in Washington.
However, she was against her 'bhabhi' settling in Dubai. "I would prefer that she settle in Karachi, instead of Dubai as I think it would be better for Shoaib to be in his homeland than any other country. And after marriage, the bride has to live at her husband's home, and Karachi is his home,'' she said.
The Lahore-born beauty also had a word of advice for the groom. "I would expect him to be a good husband and a great father to her children, and to fulfil all what a happy married life needs. That is all one wishes for any marriage.''
Asked about her reaction to some hardliners in India calling Sania unpatriotic for choosing a Pakistani, rather than Indian, as her life partner, she said, "Well, no one can blame love or fate. Calling her unpatriotic is a bit ridiculous, as she has never said that she won't play for India. These are insecurities that certain extremists have and it's unfortunate for them to say such things at such a happy occasion.''
Aware of claims being made by another Hyderabad girl Ayesha Siddiqui that she is already married to Malik, Miss Pakistan said, "We all are innocent until proven guilty. It's tragic when people are blamed for sins they have not committed.
"If Ayesha Siddiqui was married to Shoaib Malik, there should be some proof. There are witnesses, and Nikaah documents. She may also have to prove pregnancy/miscarriage. If she can come up with proof, she should be given a chance to be heard.''
Added her mentor and Miss Pakistan pageant president Sonia Ahmed, "Being in the pageant industry myself, I can relate that people have plenty to say about those in the limelight. It comes with the territory. However, as a woman, I sympathize with Ayesha Siddiqui. If she can produce proof, she should be heard, and Shoaib should take responsibility for his actions.''