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 Shoaib Malik demands Rs50 million for walima coverage

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Location : India

PostSubject: Shoaib Malik demands Rs50 million for walima coverage   Fri 30 Apr 2010, 9:32 am

ISLAMABAD: Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza have set their eyes on making money. The two, who got married earlier this month, want to cash in on their popularity in Pakistan and have reportedly demanded Rs30-50 million from media groups for exclusive rights to their walima (marriage banquet) reception in Sialkot and Lahore. Mirza and Malik have decided not to interact with Pakistani journalists till they sell the reception rights to the highest bidder.

After the couple arrived at the Pearl Continental hotel in Lahore on Friday, Malik threatened to vacate the place if the management allowed any media personnel on the floor where Mirza and he were staying. The management on Sunday had to tell journalists waiting in the lobby to leave the place to avoid any untoward incident. Security officials at the hotel even snatched the camera of a Geo Television staffer who tried to shoot the gym where Malik and Mirza were present. Officials at the Pearl Continental said Malik accused them of accepting bribes from journalists to provide them access to the area where the couple was staying. Lahore police officials, however, said Malik was not cooperating with them and he had not even informed them of his Sialkot visit. A police officer said two gunmen have been deployed outside the couple’s room.

Sources said the Malik-Mirza marriage is like a business contract as the couple has barred the media from all functions. Some said this was a ploy to capture the attention of advertising agencies in India and Pakistan and mint more money. Though the cricketer’s friends persuaded him to speak to the media, Malik’s mother-in-law, Nasima Mirza, was adamant on selling coverage rights of the reception at Sialkot, the walima in Lahore and other functions, including an interview with the couple.

“Sania’s career is on the downswing and Malik has been banned and fined Rs2 million by the Pakistan Cricket Board. The couple is now looking at ways to make money,” a source said.

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