Mumbai: Matters involving diplomacy and statecraft are best executed by “our very able leaders”, Shah Rukh Khan’s office said on Tuesday, dismissing speculation that the star was involved in the release of eight jailed former Indian Navy personnel from Qatar.
Qatar on Monday released the Indian Navy veterans who were sentenced to death and whose sentences were commuted to jail terms of varying duration. Seven of them have returned home.
Qatar releases 8 ex-Indian Navy officers on death row: MEA
Speculation that Shah Rukh, who enjoys massive popularity in Qatar and recently met the country’s prime minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani in Doha during an event, played a role in the release of the jailed Indians was rife on Tuesday. Former MP Subramanian Swamy’s claim in a post on X that the actor had intervened in the matter circulated widely on social media platforms.
Shah Rukh was trending on X for much of the day.
“Regarding the reports concerning Shah Rukh Khan’s purported role in the release of India’s naval officers from Qatar, the office of Mr Shah Rukh Khan says that any such assertions of his involvement are unfounded…,” his office said in a statement.
“… The execution of this successful resolution solely rests with the Indian government officials,” it said, unequivocally denying Shah Rukh’s participation in the matter.
“All matters involving diplomacy and statecraft are best executed by our very able leaders,” the statement, also posted by his manager Pooja Dadlani on Instagram, said.
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“Mr. Khan like many other Indians is happy that the naval officers are home safe and wishes them all the best,” it said.
The actor, 58, recently attended the Asian Football Club final in Doha, where he was the special guest of honour.
The release of the eight Indians comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Qatar on February 14-15.
They apparently faced charges of espionage but neither Qatari authorities nor New Delhi made the charges against them public. PTI BK