When Mahesh Bhatt received a call on Saturday morning about the news of Veena Malik going missing, he was in two minds. Is this a trulytragic story of a Pakistani girl being victimized because of her daredevil attitude or is it a case of yet another ploy of gaining publicity?
Says Bhatt, "I was told that she has gone missing for 24 hours and hadn't reported to her shoot yesterday. The cops were being informedabout her absence. I really don't know what to make of it. The last time I spoke to her was when I was asked to comment on her "nude"shoot. I spoke to both Veena and the editor of the FHM magazine who had commissioned the controversial shoot. I had advised Veena toreport to the cops if she indeed felt victimized and also provide correct information to be circulated in the media by her PR.
Subsequently, as the story unfolded, I was told by my well-wishers in Pakistan not to involve myself in this issue. My friends told my wife, Soni, that Mr Bhatt is too precious a person in the Indo-Pak cultural bridge to be commenting on Veena's issue." When the filmmaker heard the news of Veena going missing, Bhatt had two different reactions. "We are living in dangerous times.
Veena has already earned the stigma of abusing the media to serve her personal interests and any information regarding her is now being met with cynicism. People today fear to give her the benefit of doubt since they believe she has engineered a lot to fit things into her landscape of profit. If she is doing this to keep the excitement alive about her, this will turn into a farce. But it would indeed be sad if nobody responds to her even if her missing tale is true. Veena's tale couldbecome a wolf wolf story. It will be tragic if people take her story with a pinch of salt even if she were in some kind of serious trouble."