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Last Updated 23.10.2019 | 10:07 PM IST
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Iraqi journalist offers help to negotiate through Mahesh Bhatt

The iconic Iraqi ‘shoe-thrower’ journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who hit global headlines when he threw a shoe of protest at George Bush, has gotten in touch with Mahesh Bhatt and actor Imran Zahid offering to negotiate on behalf of the Indian government for the release of the 40 abducted Indians who’ve been taken hostage by Iraqi militants.

Muntadhar has a special affinity to India, especially since Mahesh Bhatt wrote the play The Last Salute in which Imran Zahid played Muntadhar’s role. Muntadhar has since then maintained close ties with Bhatt and Imran.

Says Imran Zahid, “Muntadhar and his wife got in touch with me and Mahesh Bhatt saab offering to negotiate with the militants for the release of the hostage. As you know, Muntadhar’s journalistic voice is heard very strongly in Iraq and the Middle East. He has clearly told us he will negotiate with the militants on behalf of the Indian government provided he is given an official letter from the Indian government to do the same.”

Muntadhar has clearly stated to Imran Zahid, “I am ready to go to go to the conflict zones and negotiate with the kidnappers. I’m ready to go to Iraq to mediate for the release of hostages and wait for the power of attorney from the Indian government. And I will make every effort to free hostages I hope to see them return to their families safely.”

Now Imran and Mahesh Bhatt are in the process of informing the Indian government of Muntadhar’s offer.

Says Mahesh Bhatt, “Muntadhar is an icon in that part of the world. It is the duty of every Indian to rise to the occasion and do his bit to tide over this bizarre crisis.”

Bhatt saab intends to inform the Indian government of Muntadhar’s generous offer. “All one can do is to put Muntadhar in touch with those who are handling the crisis and leave them to decide how they can effectively use his services to resolve the tragic deadlock,” states the film industry’s most vocal and effectual representative.

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