Everything we know about Junaid Safdar's nikah
Maryam Nawaz may have never held office in an official capacity but being the daughter of three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and currently a vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, she's always been a person of interest for the people of Pakistan. So it's only natural that the announcement of her son's nuptials on August 22 has caught everyone's attention.
Here's everything we know so far about the upcoming marriage ceremony:
Most people have seen a picture or at least heard of Muhammad Junaid Safdar, especially in 2018 when Maryam and Nawaz were returning to Pakistan ahead of the general elections. Maryam, prior to her flight, had shared a picture of bidding farewell to her children.
Soon after, on the same day, social media was flooded with pictures and videos of Junaid and his cousin Zakaria in a physical altercation with a man, after which they were taken into custody. Protesters had gathered outside the Avenfield residence and a man hurled abuses at Junaid and Zakaria, prompting them to grab the man by the collar and punch him.
London Metropolitan Police confirmed the next day they had been released.
The same month in July, upon Junaid's arrival in Pakistan, news started making rounds that the PML-N was considering launching the then 23-year-old for its election campaign.
Junaid, a student of politics at a UK university, however, did not take on any key role in the campaigning leading up to the elections.
Since then, he's been mostly away from the public eye, apart from briefly being mentioned by Prime Minister Imran Khan in a speech regarding a polo match Junaid partook in and was attended by Nawaz.
According to the wedding invite shared by Maryam, Junaid will tie the knot with Ayesha Saif Khan on August 22.
While not much is known about the bride — and we'd prefer that over people needlessly speculating — we can confirm she is the daughter of Saifur Rahman Khan, a close confidante of Nawaz Sharif, who was made chairman of the then Ehtesab Bureau during Nawaz's second tenure as prime minister in 1997.
A swanky 5-star hotel, with its origins dating back to 1719, The Lanesborough hotel is located on the Hyde Park Corner in Knightsbridge.
In 2015, it was deemed the most expensive hotel in London by The Telegraph.
Barbara Walters, Madonna, George Bush Sr, Cher, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Johnny Depp, Michael Bolton, Mariah Carey and Pamela Anderson are among the many celebrities and dignitaries who stayed at The Lanesborough during its earliest days.
It is also home to Michelin-starred restaurant, Céleste, famed for its scallop with celeriac and truffle, and the tiramisu (we're curious to see if these will make it to the menu or whether there be a desi spread).
The guest list
We know who will NOT be attending and that's the mother of the groom, who said she "will not make any request" to the government to seek permission to travel abroad on the occasion. The attendance of his father, Captain Safdar, is still unclear.
However, since Nawaz Sharif is already in London, we are pretty sure he'll be there to see his grandson get married. Chances of Ishaq Dar, a party leader and relative of the family, being on the guest list look strong too.
Apart from friends and relatives of the groom, we're wondering if we'll see any other PML-N leaders in attendance. We'll just have to wait and see!