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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Yasin Malik sentenced - Shahid Afridi rants !!

Engrossed in IPL – a great platform for budding talent of India to rub shoulders with great Indian players, players from Australia, New Zealand, England, West Indies, Sri lanka and Afganisthan too .. .. no Pakistan ! – that actually makes me feel happy !  - if you are about to rant, don’t mix Sports with politics !  .. .. dear, this is no politics – but NATIONAL INTERESTS – keep Pakis out of everything !-  do read on !!

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.  

No one needs to tell Afridi that his country is always in turmoil.  PTI supporters who were awaiting party chief Imran Khan's arrival at D-Chowk in Islamabad since Wednesday entered the Red Zone on Thursday morning, police said, after Imran gave a six-day deadline to the government for announcing elections and warned that he would "return" to the capital if the demand was not met.

Back home, Yasin Malik was convicted by a Court of law after due process and after own admission of crimes.  Stating that his crimes “intended to strike at the heart of the idea of India” and were “committed with the assistance of foreign powers and designated terrorists”, an NIA court in Delhi handed life term to Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik in a case related to terrorism and secessionist activities in 2016-17. Additional Sessions Judge Parveen Singh awarded two life sentences and varying jail terms, which will all run concurrently, and a fine of Rs 10,65,000 for offences under the stringent anti-terror law — Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) — and the IPC.

                 Delhi court categorically  rejected Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik's contention that he was following Gandhian principle of non-violence, saying despite the large scale of violence engulfing the valley, he neither condemned the violence nor withdrew his calendar of protest. Special Judge Praveen Singh also dismissed Malik's contention that he gave up the gun in 1994 and, thereafter, he was recognized as a legitimate political player, observing that "in my opinion, there was no reformation of this convict."  "Rather, betraying the good intentions of government he took a different path to orchestrate violence in the guise of political struggle. The convict claimed that he had followed the Gandhian principle of non-violence and was spearheading a peaceful non-violent struggle. However, the evidence on the basis of which charges were framed and to which convict has pleaded guilty, speaks otherwise," the judge said. The entire movement (led by Malik) was planned to be a violent movement and large-scale violence ensued is a matter of fact, he noted.  

Now some real History :  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.

With a cryptic tweet, Indian cricketer Amit Mishra retaliated against his Pakistani opponent, asking Afridi to quit misleading people as he did with his birthday. Shahid Afridi, the former Pakistan all-rounder and captain, tried to create yet  another unsavoury stir  with his recent tweet on the Kashmir problem. On Wednesday, Afridi backed Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik, and tweeted his support questioning the verdict.  "Dear @safridiofficial he himself has pleaded guilty in court on the record. Not everything is misleading like your birthdate," Mishra tweeted.

This is not the first time Afridi raked up the Kashmir issue. Afridi had written in 2020 that he did not need religious belief to "feel the agony" of the Kashmiri people. "... just a right heart at the right place. Save Kashmir," he had tweeted. The former Pakistani cricketer had also gone to PoK where he made a public speech in which he not only defamed India as a nation.  The backlash that originated from that stunt of his,  led to some of the Indian cricketers including Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh cutting off all ties with him. Both Yuvraj and Harbhajan were helping Afridi promote his foundation right when COVID-19 was at its peak and the Pakistani public needed intervention and aid.

In early May, Malik pled guilty to all counts in a terror funding case, including those under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.  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.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th May 2022. 

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