Militant Kashmiri Leader Yasin Malik To Marry Racy Artist Mushaal Mullick

29 January 2009
The Telegraph

London: In a match which has stunned Islamic society in India and Pakistan, Yasin Malik and Mushaal Mullick will next month become man and wife. Malik, who is the founder of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and has spent much of his adult life in Indian jails, has left India for Pakistan where he is expected to marry his racy fiancé next week. He told friends he was leaving for Pakistan 'on a 10-day personal visit to Pakistan. I will solemnise Nikaah [marriage] in an austere way according to Islamic tenets,' he pledged. There is nothing austere about his fiancée however, and questions have been asked over how he reconciles is commitment to Islamic tenets with her risqué art. She specialises in paintings which capture 'raw beauty of the feminine mystique,' she says, but they would be regarded by many of her fiance's militant comrades as pornographic. In a 'Rose That Left A Thorn Behind,' a passionate Pakistani woman with wild hair is shown naked from the waist up, glancing over shoulder, revealing her breast. In The Forgotten Love, a softer-looking woman stares out of the frame, brushing her cheek with hand, and covering her nipples with her arms. Her paintings may not seem controversial in the West, but in Pakistan where Taliban militants have bombed girls' schools, murdered dancing girls, and destroyed music and video shops in recent weeks, they are explosive. On her website, Mushaal, 28, says she began painting as a child, and her current work reveals a fascination with the striking faces and voluptuous curves of green-eyed Pakistani women. She shows her works at carefully selected exhibitions in the country and donates proceeds of sales to charities supporting women's causes. She comes from a distinguished establishment family in Pakistan, where her father was a university professor and her mother a women's leader of the powerful Pakistan Muslim League. JKLF leader Yasin Malik, 42, is said to have met and fallen in love with Mushaal at a conference in Pakistan. He missed his engagement ceremony last October when he was jailed for agitating for an election boycott. Friends said although he was personally a Muslim, he was not a fundamentalist and his choice of bride was his own personal affair. 'The Kashmiri freedom struggle is a political and not religious struggle. Marriage is always a personal decision and one should not mix it up with politics. As far as I know Mushaal is a well-known painter and if she finds her paintings as a way of expression, there is nothing wrong,' said Yasin's friend Shahidul Islam, a leader of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference against Indian rule in Kashmir.