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Sania-Shoaib's Lahore reception cut short

Unruly guests began pressing the couple to pose for pictures with them

— Photo: Mohammed Abdul Haq

Before the chaos:Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza at the

Lahore: A reception on Tuesday night for Sania Mirza and her Pakistan cricketer husband Shoaib Malik in this eastern Pakistani city was cut short after a large number of guests began pressing the couple to pose for pictures with them.

Shoaib and Sania left the venue of the walima (reception hosted by the groom's family), the Pearl Continental Hotel, much earlier after some guests began acting in an unruly manner, sources said.

The event was better organised than another reception held for the couple in the cricketer's hometown of Sialkot on April 25.

Sania, wearing a flowing gown, and Shoaib, clad in a dark suit, waved to television cameras and fans as they entered the venue of the walima with their relatives.

Only two former Test cricketers — Wasim Bari and Aamir Sohail — attended the ceremony.

Mr. Bari was the head of an inquiry committee that announced stiff punishment for seven cricketers, including Shoaib, for on-and-off field problems.

An invitation was reportedly sent to Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ijaz Butt, but he preferred not to attend, the sources said.

PCB chief invited

Punjab Governor Salmaan Taser, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani's son Abdul Qadir, Federal Sports Minister Aijaz Jakhrani and Population Welfare Minister Firdous Aashiq Awan were among the high-profile guest who attended the event.

“Marriage diplomacy”

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Awan said such “marriage diplomacy” would improve people-to-people contacts between Pakistan and India.

She hoped this relationship would melt the ice between the two countries.

Mr. Jakhrani congratulated the couple and prayed for their success.

Fair chance to prove innocence

He said Shoaib would be given a fair chance in an inquiry to prove his innocence.

Shoaib and other top Pakistani cricketers punished by the cricket board had filed appeals with an appellant tribunal that will begin its hearing on Friday.

Shoaib's brother-in-law Imran Zafar was conspicuous by his absence at the walima.

The brother-in-law was blamed for the mismanagement of the reception in Sialkot.

In accordance with the rules of the Punjab government that banned the serving of more than one dish at wedding functions, guests were served a chicken korma with rice and naans and a dessert. — PTI

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