Nawaz Sharif's daughter Asma Nawaz was married to Ishaq Dar's son and Sharif's son Hassan Nawaz was married to a cousin in simple one-day ceremonies yesterday in Jeddah.

Among party members, Tehmina Daultana and the party's Lahore Women's Wing chief, Ayesha Javed, are among those who flew to Jeddah to attend. Both are close friends of Kulsoom, the wife of Nawaz, and a deliberate effort was made to clarify that while top party leaders were not invited, guests who received invitations did so in their capacity as family friends.

The wedding between Asma and the son of Ishaq Dar, who is based in London, also cement a Lahore-based alliance between the families that goes back decades, to the time when Dar, as a young clerk, began work in the Sharif's then growing Ittefaq Empire.

Hassan Nawaz and his bride will live at the family's Park Lane flats, where Hassan has in fact been based since the October 1999 coup.

Less than 80 guests, made up of close friends and family members attended the dual marriage ceremonies.