Defending his 'Dangal' co-actor Zaira Wasim, who was harassed on social media after meeting Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, superstar Aamir Khan on Tuesday said that the young actress was a “role model”.

“I have read Zaira’s statement and I can understand and imagine what lead her to make that statement. Zaira, we want you to know that we are all with you.

“The beauty is that bright, young, talented, hardworking, respectful and caring kids like you are a role model for kids not only in India but across the world. You certainly are a role model for me,” Khan tweeted.

He also appealed everyone to respect her privacy and consider the fact that she is just a 16-year-old girl.

Kashmiri girl Zaira, who played the role of young Geeta Phogat in Aamir Khan’s Bollywood blockbuster Dangal was on Monday trolled and abused on Twitter and Facebook by religious fundamentalists especially from the Kashmir valley who were upset at her being projected as a “role model” for young Kashmiris as well as her meeting with Mufti.

An upset Zaira took to Facebook to post an apology for "offending" and "unintentionally hurting" people and also played down her projection as a role model for the youth of Kashmir, saying she does not want anyone to follow in her footsteps.