|Dawood and Miandad
July 11: This one is straight from the horse’s mouth: the D-day is July 23. That day the legendary cricketer’s son is hitching up with the runaway don’s daughter.
Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad today let on that his son Junaid and Dawood Ibrahim’s daughter Mahrukh would be marrying each other in Dubai.
“The nikaah will take place on July 23 and the reception will be held here (in Karachi) on August 4. I hope this will bring to an end all speculation about the wedding,” Miandad told PTI.
“We are now busy with preparations for the big occasion. Everyone is very happy with this development.”
The wedding is likely to be hosted by Dawood’s sister Zaitoon Antuley, his only close family member still living in Dubai. It is anyone’s guess whether Dawood will show up as all airport arrivals are monitored by the Americans and he is certain to be picked up like his brother Anees was.
Zaitoon is married to Hamid Antuley, a gutka distributor who lives in a house earlier occupied by Dawood’s brother Mustaqim. He is believed to have links with an Indian gutka baron now under probe by the CBI.
About 250-300 people have been invited to the wedding, Miandad said. The Karachi reception will be a much bigger and grander affair with a guest list of around 3,000.
The news of the nikaah set tongues furiously wagging in Mumbai, but police and intelligence agencies threw a damper saying the movements of all those planning to attend the wedding would be strictly monitored. Four cricketers are believed to have been invited.
A question-mark also hung over Dawood’s Mumbai-based younger sister Haseena Parkar, who told friends she would not be able to make the wedding as she had lost her passport in February and had not managed to get a fresh one.
Haseena lives at Gordon Apartments in Nagpada, one of the 11 Dawood properties that came under the CBI scanner in the aftermath of the 1993 Bombay blasts. Dawood’s earliest gangwars were to avenge the murder of Haseena’s husband in the eighties.
Haseena’s lawyer Shyam Keswani, however, denied her passport had been “blocked” by the crime branch. There was no criminal case of any kind against her, he said.
“That’s not true. Haseenabi’s passport was valid up to April 2007 but she lost it on her way to the market. She lodged a complaint with Nagpada police station and applied for a fresh passport. But that has not been issued yet and she obviously cannot travel without it.”
Keswani said the chief passport officer at Mumbai’s regional passport office had claimed a fresh one was not being issued because of objections by the deputy commissioner.
“No specific reasons were given why objections were raised. We have written to the chief passport officer demanding reasons why a passport can’t be issued under the Passport Act. On Monday, we will file an appeal.”
Junaid and Mahrukh are believed to have fallen in love while pursuing studies abroad. But their parents are known to have been associated for a while. Miandad’s wife Tahira has been hosted repeatedly in Dubai by Dawood’s wife Mehzabeen. Miandad’s mother and Mehzabeen are blood relatives.
There have also been allegations in Dubai that Dawood laundered money through Tahira’s family businesses in Karachi, which include sugar mills and textile factories.