Shahroz Sabzwari and Sadaf Kanwal
Shahroz Sabzwari and Sadaf Kanwal Image Credit: Instagram

Pakistani actor Shahroz Sabzwari and model Sadaf Kanwal tied the knot recently but it was not any other quarantine wedding, the pictures have gone viral and the marriage has sparked controversy online.

Initially the speculation that the two had gotten married began when the model changed her name to ‘Sadaf Sabzwari’ on Instagram.

Soon after, on May 31, the couple shared pictures of an intimate looking nikkah ceremony and the photos began circulating on social media.

Shahroz announced the marriage to his fans and followers on Instagram, with the caption, "Alhamdulilah (thank God)."

While Kanwal posted: “Complete.”

The controversy

Shahroz had parted ways with his wife of seven years, Syra Yousaf this year in February over "irreconcilable differences". The former couple are parents to a daughter named Nooreh.

At the time of their separation, rumours began circulating that Shahroz and Kanwal were seeing each other and that was the reason for the couple’s divorce.

Shahroz at the time posted a video denying any romantic connection with Kanwal and said that they were just “working together” and are “just friends”.

He had also said that he had separated with Yousaf six months before meeting Kanwal, whom he had known for a month at the time, according to him.

After the news of Shahroz’s second marriage broke, the video resurfaced online.

Tweep @abdullahmarwatt shared the clip and wrote: “Throwback to the video when #ShahrozSabzwari said ‘#SadafKanwal and I are just friends’ Haha, congratulations to Shehroz for losing a gem! i.e Syra. #SadafSabzwari”

Shahroz and Syra, at the time they were a couple, were spotted spending time with Kanwal. Many social media users took the opportunity to share pictures of those instances.

Twitter user @lightning_buzz shared a picture of Yousaf and Kanwal together and wrote: “Beware of your surroundings. #SadafKanwal #ShehrozSabzwari #SyraYousuf”

However, there were those who believe it is the celebrities’ "personal" business. Tweep @AmmadmehmoodAdv wrote: “A man has absolute right to choose a woman and a woman has absolute right to choose a man; rocket science? They, and their families are agreed upon it. Why you are poking your nose in others’ personal affairs?”

Appreciation for Syra Yousaf

Many appreciated Yousaf for how she handled the separation and news of Shahroz’s marriage.

Tweep @NuriJaamTamachi wrote: “I'm just going to say how in awe of Syra Yousaf I am. How gracefully & resiliently she handled her grief. She left, never looked back, never wasted time spewing hate against them, chose to continue living her life with dignity. It takes courage to forget & move on, a winner indeed.”

User @k_abjaoO posted a picture of the actress and wrote: “If dignity and grace had a face. More power to you. #SadafKanwal”

Tweep @farwaa_zaidi5 shared a collage of Shahroz's marriage to Yousaf and the recent pictures Kanwal shared, and wrote: “This is the reason why I have trust issues. Syra, it is ok dear, you deserve better. #SadafKanwal.”

Shahroz responds to internet backlash

On June 1, Shahroz posted a video on Instagram addressing the issue being discussed online. In the clip, he "challenged" people to prove that his first marriage ended because of "a woman".

Shahroz said that the marriage ended due to a "personal" issue that the duo was unable to solve.

He also defended his wife, Kanwal, saying that she does not deserve the treatment she has gotten from the public.

In the video, he reiterated what he said in the clip posted previously. He said that he developed a relationship with Kanwal months after his separation with Yousaf.

Lastly, he said that he made the video addressing the issue because of his daughter. "When she grows up and people ask her about this, she would have an answer," he said.