Tennis star Sania Mirza clarifies, I will be an Indian till I die!

Hyderabad, Jul 24: Tennis star Sania Mirza on Thursday said she will “remain an Indian until the end”, after a politician attacked the Telangana government for naming her the state’s ambassador. “I am married to Shoaib Malik, who is from Pakistan. I am an Indian, who will remain an Indian until the end of my life,” Sania said in a statement here.

She said she was hurt that prominent politicians and the media were wasting precious time “on a petty issue of my being appointed the brand ambassador of my state Telangana. “I sincerely believe that this precious time should be spent on solving the more urgent issues of our state and the country.”

Mirza’s statement came a day after Telangana BJP leader K. Laxman accused the state government of picking Sania as its brand ambassador and giving her a grant in a bid to appease Muslims. Sania said she was born in India and came to Hyderabad when she was three-weeks-old.

She said her forefathers had lived in Hyderabad for more than a century. “My grandfather, Mohammed Zaffer Mirza, started his career as an engineer in Nizam’s Railways in Hyderabad in 1948 and died in his ancestral home in Hyderabad. “My great grandfather, Mohd Ahmed Mirza, was also born and raised in Hyderabad. He was chief engineer, Water Works, Hyderabad, and was responsible for constructing the famous Gandipet dam.

“My great, great grandfather, Aziz Mirza, was the home secretary under the Nizam in Hyderabad and worked tirelessly for relief works during the historic Musi river floods of 1908. “So, my family belongs to Hyderabad for more than a century and I strongly condemn any attempts by any person, whosoever, to brand me an outsider.”