Lahore: A reception for newly-weds Sania Mirza and 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) at the Pearl Continental Hotel and the ceremony ended before the scheduled time last night after some guests began acting in an unruly manner, sources said.
The event was better organised than another reception held for the couple in Shoaib`s hometown of Sialkot on April 25. That event was marred by mismanagement.
Sania, who was wearing a flowing gown, and Shoaib, clad in a dark suit, waved to TV 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.
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, sources said.
Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, Prime Minister Yousuf 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.
Speaking on the occasion, Awan said such "marriage diplomacy" will improve people-to-people contacts between Pakistan and India.
She hoped this relationship will melt the ice between the two countries.
Jakhrani congratulated the couple on starting a new life and prayed for their success.
He said Shoaib will be given a fair chance in an inquiry to prove his innocence.
Malik and the other top Pakistani cricketers punished by the PCB have filed appeals with an appellant tribunal that will begin its hearing on Friday.
The cricketer`s brother-in-law Imran Zafar was conspicuous by his absence at the walima.
Zafar was blamed for the mismanagement witnessed during the reception in Sialkot.
In accordance with the rules of the Punjab government banning the serving of more than one dish at wedding functions, guests were served a chicken `korma` with rice and
naans and a dessert.
Sania`s family is scheduled to return to India today.