No question of Pakistan objecting to ‘Neerja’, says Shabana

Mumbai: Veteran actress Shabana Azmi saw no reason for Pakistan to have any problem with an upcoming film on brave air hostess Neerja Bhanot, who sacrificed her life while saving passengers of a hijacked aircraft in the neighbouring country nearly 30 years ago.

The Sonam Kapoor-starrer “Neerja” is a biopic on the 23-year-old flight attendant from Chandigarh who saved 360 lives on a Pan Am flight, when it was hijacked by terrorists in Karachi in 1986.

Neerja was posthumously conferred the Ashoka Chakra, the country’s highest peacetime gallantry award. She was also honoured by Pakistan and US Governments for her bravery.

“It’s a rare occasion when a person is honoured by the US, India and Pakistan. There is no question of Pakistan taking it (the film) badly,” said Shabana, who plays Neerja’s mother in the film, whose trailer was launched here today.

The veteran actress was asked by reporters whether Pakistan would take objection to the film, directed by Ram Madhavani.

At this point, one of Neerja’s brothers who was present at the trailer launch interrupted, saying, “Pakistan was the first one to give an award (to her for bravery).”

“The film is about mother-daughter relationship. It’s a family film,” Madhavani said.

The director hoped the film will be well-received by the audience. “We hope we have done justice to what happened to those people who were there in the flight…What happened on that day,” he added.