Hyderabad: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza Thursday hit out at politicians for raising objections to her being appointed as Telangana's brand ambassador, saying that her family had been staying in Hyderabad for more than a century and to call her an outsider was condemnable.
Sania was named the brand ambassador of the newly-created state on Tuesday, a move that triggered a political furore. The opposition BJP started the controversy by saying that Sania does not deserve the honour as she is the "daughter-in-law of Pakistan" after her marriage to cricketer Shoaib Malik.
"It hurts me that so much precious time of prominent politicians and the media is being wasted on a petty issue of my being appointed the Brand Ambassador of my State of Telangana. I sincerely believe that this precious time should be spent on solving the more urgent issues of our State and country," Sania said in a statement.
Asserting her Hyderabadi roots, Sania said her ancestors had contributed to the city and her marriage to Malik does not take away the fact that she remains an Indian citizen.
"I am married to Mr. Shoaib Malik, who is from Pakistan. I am an Indian, who will remain an Indian until the end of my life," the 27-year-old insisted.
"I was born in Mumbai as my mother needed to be at a specialist hospital since she was seriously unwell at the time of my birth. I came home to Hyderabad when I was 3 weeks old.
"My forefathers have lived in Hyderabad for more than a century. My grandfather, Mr. 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," she said.