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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Gautam Gambhir hits back at Shahid Afridi - clean shot over mid wicket !

Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) historically belonged to the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Soon after the partition of India in 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir signed the Instrument of Accession, thereby acceding to the Indian Union. By every account, POK is legitimately an inherent part of India. This territory has been under Pakistan’s unlawful control ever since the Pakistan Army orchestrated the tribal invasion of the territory in Oct 1947. POK comprises the so-called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and has remained an amorphous entity for six decades now.

The rise of women’s cricket in this decade has been remarkable. However, there is one person who has had a problem with that and thinks that women should be bound to the kitchen. Shahid Afridi was the centre  of trouble  when he was asked about his views on Pakistan women’s cricket. Afridi was being interviewed by ARY News TV and it was aired in Mar 2016. When he was asked about his perspective on women’s cricket and Pakistan’s women’s team playing in Peshawar, Afridi left everyone amused with his answer. He said, “Our women have magic in their hands; they are good cooks.”

IPL 2008 was the only edition in which 11 Pakistan players took part in the cash rich tournament. From the 2009 edition due to political tensions, Pakistani cricketers were barred from further taking part in the tournament – and that has been a great right move.  There obviously have been rantings and Afirdi was the most vociferous amongst them.  Shahid Afridi displayed his  deep hurt and  appealed to the Indian cricket board that Pakistan players shouldn't be treated as "untouchables" when it comes to including them in the cash-rich Indian Premier League.  Clearly it was no love for the game or for India but for the cash – in fact there have been very many occasions when he had spoken badly against India and against Indian Cricketers too.   

2020 year has been different for the World.  Since the start of this year, the whole world is fighting  COVID-19 Crisis and countries like India are trying their level best to tackle it. However, certain Pakistanis are still busy in mongering their propaganda on the Kashmir issue. This time it is former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi who was caught spreading hate and fake propaganda against the Indian Army and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whilst making a show of himself at PoK.  In the name of providing relief material to the people living in illegally occupied PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir), Afridi paid a visit to the territory and addressed the locals. He said, "Modi deployed 7 lakh soldiers in Kashmir, same as the total strength of Pakistani forces." He also said that Kashmiris from India were also supporting the Pakistani Army. Afridi didn't stop there and continued to spread his well known fake narrative that Kashmiris are oppressed by PM Modi, which Pakistan has long used to continue its deep state military-directed ISI-led regime.

In a widely circulated video, Afridi is heard saying "the world is infected by a deadly disease, but what's more dangerous is in Modi's heart and mind." On Saturday, Afridi took to Twitter to share photos of his visit to POK with a caption which read: "Humbled by the response in Bagh and amazed at the resilience of Kashmiris. It's an honor for @SAFoundationN to serve these people. Efforts of local administration in containing COVID 19 are remarkable. #DonateKaroNa #HopeNotOut".

This is not the first time that the former Pakistan all-rounder has raised the issue of Kashmir. In fact, he had been involved in a number of Twitter wars over the Kashmir issue with former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir. On May 8, 2020,  the Information and Broadcasting Ministry announced that DD News and All India Radio will start broadcasting temperatures and weather reports of Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit in POK in their prime-time news bulletins.

Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir today  hit back at former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi over his recently reported remarks against India Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to a video clip reported by ABP news which is being shared on social media, Afridi was heard criticising PM Modi. In reply to Afridi’s remarks, Gambhir wrote: “Pak has 7 lakh force backed by 20 Cr ppl says 16 yr old man @SAfridiOfficial. Yet begging for Kashmir for 70 yrs.” “Jokers like Afridi, Imran & Bajwa can spew venom against India & PM @narendramodi ji to fool Pak ppl but won’t get Kashmir till judgment day! Remember Bangladesh?” he added.

Gambhir and Afridi shared intense cricket rivalry when the two were playing for their respective countries. The former Pakistan allrounder in his autobiography ‘The Gamechanger’, which was published in April last year, had given his opinion about Gambhir, someone with whom he clashed several times on field during his career. “Some rivalries were personal, some professional. First the curious case of Gambhir. Oh poor Gautam. He & his attitude problem. He who has no personality. He who is barely a character in the great scheme of cricket. He who has no great records just a lot of attitude,” Afridi had written in his autobiography. In April, Gambhir had replied to Afridi and said: “Someone who doesn’t remember his age how will he remember my records! ok. Shahid Afridi let me remind you one: 2007 T20 WC final, Ind vs Pak Gambhir 75 off 54 balls vs Afridi 0 off 1 ball. Most important: We won the Cup. And yes, I’ve attitude towards liars, traitors & opportunists,” he had said.

Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi is getting slammed in India for his latest controversial tweet on Kashmir. Like politicians from across the border, Shahid Afridi had alleged that "innocents (were) being shot down by oppressive regime (in Kashmir) to clamp voice of self determination and independence." But this is not the first time that Shahid Afridi has spoken about Kashmir. In March 2016, when Pakistan cricket team came to India to play T20 World Cup, Shahid Afridi referred to Kashmir saying, "A lot of people, a lot of people are here from Kashmir as well (to support him)." He has raised the Kashmir issue on a few other occasions as well.

India Today reports that Shahid Afridi's constant rant over Kashmir flows from his family's connection with militancy in the Valley. His cousin was shot dead by the security forces in 2003 in an encounter in Anantnag. Identified as Shaquib, Shahid Afridi's first cousin, was killed in an encounter with the BSF on Sep 7, 2003. The BSF had described Shaquib after the encounter as a battalion commander of the Harkat-ul-Ansar, which later took the name of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, another front of Jamaat-ud-Dawa of Hafiz Saeed, the designated global terrorist. Documents recovered from Shaquib proved his connection with Shahid Afridi's family, the BSF had then said. Shaquib hailed from Peshawar and had been operating in the Anantnag area for about a-year-and-half before he was killed.

Shahid Afridi then, a regular in Pakistan's national cricket team, had denied having any knowledge about his terrorist cousin. "Pathan families are very large and I have literally lost track of the many cousins I have," Afridi was quoted as saying in newspapers. Then there is another connection that primes Shahid Afridi as a supporter of Kashmiri militants. When India was partitioned by the British colonial regime in August 1947, the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir decided to stay independent - at least for some time. While New Delhi was dithering about India's claim over Kashmir, Pakistan sent Afridi tribesmen to occupy Kashmir with the intent to annex it. Afridis along with mercenaries from Wazir, Mahsud, Turi, Mohmand and Malakand Yusufzai tribes invaded Kashmir. The leadership was provided by Pakistan Army officer named Major General Akbar Khan. Afridis had been lured to attack Kashmir for "wealth and women". They came in truckloads and were more interested in raping women and looting properties. Unable to fight back on his own the then King of Jammu and Kashmir Hari Singh signed the accession treaty with India, which then sent its troops to push back tribal invaders and Pakistan armymen. These tribesmen, having accumulated enormous property, had to haul all the loot to Peshawar.

While many are criticising the former Pakistan cricketer, some have even included Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh into this controversy after the two cricketers had pledged support to Afridi's foundation in the fight against coronavirus. Yuvraj Singh had posted a video on Twitter asking people to donate to Afridi's foundation. Seeing all the backlash, Yuvraj Singh had to even put out a post saying that he won't stop doing good for humanity and that he is truly an Indian.

Well played Gambhir – we loved the way you played 4154 test runs, 5238 ODI runs and 932 T20I .. and enjoying your form now too.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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