Former Pakistani cricketer, Shahid Afridi’s remarks on Kashmir while addressing students in London recently, have sparked a debate in his country. He appears to have heckled his government. It seems like he has turned out to be a ‘Sidhu’ for Pakistan.
Those who are always keen to learn about Indian politics cannot let this go without fueling further arguments. Our Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that he agrees with Afridi – that Pakistan cannot manage Kashmir, taking a jibe at Afridi’s comment.
At the same time, he also hastened to add that Kashmir is a part of India and will remain so. When Navjot Singh Sidhu visited Pakistan during Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony, he managed to get enough media attention in Pakistan. There was much uproar at his words in India after his return. Similarly, Shahid Afridi, who also happens to be a cricketer like Sidhu seems to have stirred a hornet’s nest with his recent remarks.
Our ruling party leaders have called Afridi’s remark right with all the equanimity while Sidhu’s hug was wrong to them. What remained common in both the cricketers’ remarks was the talk about ‘Insaaniyat’. Shahid Afridi pointed out that Pakistan does not need Kashmir as it cannot manage its own four provinces. He stated that Kashmir should be given independence.
One Indian cricketer hugged a Pakistani army general on his visit to Pakistan, while another cricketer heckled his government for its deep interest in Kashmir. Their comments were definitely not dull. If Sidhu’s remarks were pleasant for Pakistan months ago, ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi’s observations have pleased the Indian government.