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All clear for Shoaib-Sania wedding, Ayesha gets divorce

Hyderabad, April 7 (IANS) La' affaire Sania-Shoaib-Ayesha ended abruptly Wednesday with the Pakistani cricketer sending divorce papers to Ayesha Siddiqui, who in turn agreed to withdraw the criminal complaint of cheating against him.

Shoaib Malik, who is set to wed Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza on April 15, had denied Hyderabad girl Ayesha's claims that he had married her. He had admitted to a telephone wedding but said he had been shown the photograph of another woman.

After days of mudslinging, a compromise was reached with the intervention of elders of the Muslim community and representatives from the three families.

"Shoaib Malik has sent divorce papers to Ayesha Siddiqui," Shams Babar, a family friend of the Siddiquis, told IANS.

"My daughter is relieved and she is very happy. Justice has been done," Ayesha's mother Farisa Siddiqui told reporters, adding that her daughter would now withdraw the case.

She said the compromise was reached without any compensation. Shoaib paid Rs.15,000 as monthly maintenance for three months as per Islamic law.

The surprising development comes two days after Ayesha filed a complaint with the police accusing Shoaib of cheating, harassment and criminal intimidation.

Shoaib, who married Ayesha over phone in 2002, was questioned by police on Monday and his passport seized for investigations.

Abid Rasool Khan, general secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Congress and a friend of both families, told reporters that Shoaib sent the divorce papers after advice by community elders. He said efforts for a compromise were being made for last few days as the community was getting a bad name due to the allegations between the two sides.

Here are the key developments in Shoaib Malik-Ayesha Siddiqui marriage saga, which finally culminated in the Pakistani cricketer sending divorce papers to her Wednesday.

2000: Shoaib Malik comes in contact with Ayesha.

2002: Shoaib marries Ayesha over phone.

2002-2005: Shoaib visits Hyderabad and Ayesha's house a number of times, including once with the Pakistani team.

January, 2008: Shoaib says he is calling off the "engagement" with Ayesha as the two families are unable to reach an understanding over the issue. Ayesha's family threatens to sue him and demands divorce. Shoaib's family hits back saying she cheated him by sending photographs of another girl.

March 29, 2010: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza announces that she is marrying Shoaib in Hyderabad April 15.

March 31: Siddiquis threaten to move court against Shoaib and demand that he divorce their daughter before marrying Sania.

April 2: Ayesha's family releases copies of "nikahnama" to media to prove her marriage with Shoaib.

April 3: Shoaib arrives at Sania's house in Hyderabad.

April 4: The Pakistani cricketer issues a statement, saying he never met or married the girl whose photographs were sent to him. He says Ayesha, who is claiming to be his first wife, had met him as Maha Apa or the elder sister of the girl whose photographs were sent to him. Ayesha files a complaint with the police accusing Shoaib of cheating, harassment and criminal intimidation.

April 5: Police launch investigation, grill Shoaib at Sania's house and seize his passport. Shoaib and Sania hold joint press conference. The Pakistani cricketer claims innocence and says he will not leave India till he clears his name.

April 6: Police record Ayesha's statement to gather evidence against Shoaib.

April 7: Shoaib sends divorce papers to Ayesha and the latter agrees to withdraw case against him under a compromise arrived at after mediation by some Muslim leaders and family members of Ayesha and Sania.

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