Marriage of the year

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Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Yasin Malik brought home his Pakistani bride Mushaal Mullick known for her racy paintings. The 40-year-old Malik had married the Britain-born Mullick in  Rawalpindi in February, but had to wait more than six months to bring her home. The couple’s wait was extended by Malik’s three month house arrest in Srinagar in the backdrop of Shopian unrest. Malik’s travel plans to Pakistan were delayed and could materialise only after he was set free.

Malik flew to Pakistan on soon after his release and returned with the bride to a rousing reception by his supporters.

Mullick, a post-graduate from the London School of Economics and an artist, is the daughter of Rehana Hussain, chief of the Muslim League (women’s wing). Her father, the late M A Hussain Malik, was a renowned economist.

Yasin Malik had met Mushaal on his previous tour to the country two years back. The couple got engaged on Oct 24, 2008 while the JKLF leader was in detention for launching a poll boycott campaign in Kashmir.

It is not the first high-profile cross-border wedding in the Kashmiri separatist camp. Moderate Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq married a US citizen of Kashmiri origin while separatist turned unionist Sajjad Ghani Lone’s wife  is the daughter of PaK based JKLF supremo Amanullah Khan.

Malik’s marriage however became the talk of the town with his homecoming with the bride given extensive coverage by local cable TV networks. The national and international media were already stung by the development, given the varied backgrounds of the two.

It also lead to some controversy in Srinagar, as some newspapers criticised Malik for marrying a Pakistani artist.

Half-a-dozen supporters and activists of Awami Action Committee and JKLF were arrested by police after they disrupted the news conference of the editor of local Urdu weekly Qaumi Waqaar, Shabnam Qayoom. The activists manhandled Qayoom and his son during the press conference called to complain about the threats the editor had received for his criticism of Malik’s marriage in his newspaper.

Qayoom and a few other journalists had taken objection to Malik’s marriage to an outside elite and bitterly criticized him for not having married any of the Kashmiri martyr’s widow or sister.

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