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Famous wrestler Inoki wants to mediate Taliban peace talks

Published Oct 09, 2013 11:08pm
Famous wrestler Antonio Inoki of Japan flanked by former Federal Minister for Culture Dr G G Jamal addressing a press conference at National Press Club on Wednesday. – INP Photo
Famous wrestler Antonio Inoki of Japan flanked by former Federal Minister for Culture Dr G G Jamal addressing a press conference at National Press Club on Wednesday. – INP Photo
Famous Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki. – Photo (File) courtesy Zahir Shah Sherazi
Famous Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki. – Photo (File) courtesy Zahir Shah Sherazi

ISLAMABAD: Renowned Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki Wednesday expressed his desire to mediate peace talks between the government and the Pakistani Taliban militants.

Inoki is currently visiting Pakistan for promoting peace in the country through sport.

“I am hurt to see Muslims fighting with each other. I have come to Pakistan to facilitate talks between the government and the Taliban to restore peace and stop killings,” said, the Japanese parliamentarian who now prefers to be called Muhammad Hussain Inoki.

Addressing a press conference here, he said that he would visit the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and personally meet Taliban leaders to know their viewpoint.

“I am sure peace will soon come to the country,” he said.

Inoki said he was ready to sacrifice even his life to make his peace mission successful. He said the purpose of his current visit was to promote peace in Pakistan through sport. “If someone wants to fight, he should fight inside the ring.”

He said he was moved by the destruction caused by the Awaran earthquake in Balochistan and it was another reason to visit Pakistan to help victims of the catastrophe.

The famous wrestler said he was not allowed to visit the earthquake-hit areas due to security reasons. However, he said he was being updated about the destruction through the media and said he would raise funds in Japan for the relief and rehabilitation of victims.

Regarding launching development projects in FATA, he said he had met tribal parliamentarians and officials of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in this regard. “I have decided to launch projects for clean drinking water, building schools and health facilities in the area.”

Replying to a question, he said there was great potential for wrestling in Pakistan, which had produced great wrestlers in the past. “With the support of Punjab government, I am setting up an academy in Lahore to train young wrestlers.”