AJK PM slams Shahid Afridi’s statement on Kashmir

AJK PM slams Shahid Afridi’s statement on Kashmir
In this file photo, Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi plays football during an ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup practice session at the P. Sara Oval Cricket Stadium in Colombo on Sept. 27, 2012. (AFP)
Updated 15 November 2018

AJK PM slams Shahid Afridi’s statement on Kashmir

AJK PM slams Shahid Afridi’s statement on Kashmir
  • Afridi should not ‘toy with the emotions’ of Kashmiri people, says Haider
  • Afridi claimed Pakistan was unable to take care of its own provinces and ‘does not want’ Kashmir

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Raja Farooq Haider criticized former international cricketer Shahid Khan Afridi’s recent statement on the protracted Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan while addressing an event in London on Thursday.
Afridi had asserted on Wednesday that Kashmir was “not an issue” but was turned into one by “the world.”
Addressing a group of students at the British Parliament, he said: “Pakistan does not want Kashmir. Don’t give it to India either. Let Kashmir become its own country. At least humanity should stay alive.
“Pakistan is unable to take care of its four provinces,” he added. “Humanity is a big thing. People are dying there (in Kashmir and) it hurts us.”
The video clip of Afridi’s statement went viral immediately after his talk. It was also reported by Indian news outlets that played up his assertion that Pakistan was finding it difficult to administer its own provinces.
“It seems that Afridi wants to play in the Indian Premier League and is issuing such statements owing to that,” Haider was quoted as saying by local media.
“Kashmir is a matter of life and death for us,” the AJK prime minister added. “Afridi should not play with the emotions of Kashmiris like this and there will be no compromise on Kashmir’s independence.”
Afridi had already backtracked on his statement, saying the Indian media had “misconstrued” his comments. He tweeted: “I’m passionate about my country and greatly value the struggles of Kashmiris. Humanity must prevail and they should get their rights.”

He added: “My clip is incomplete and out of context as what I said before that is missing. Kashmir is an unresolved dispute and under brutal Indian occupation. It must be resolved as per UN resolution. Myself along with every Pakistani support Kashmiri freedom struggle. Kashmir belongs to Pakistan.”

Despite Afridi’s explanation, Haider said in his statement that players should not make such remarks on sensitive issues. He noted: “The United Nations is aware of Indian atrocities in Kashmir and will have to take immediate measures in this regard.”