London: Former Pakistan international cricketer Shahid Afridi, who has a penchant for wading into controversial topics, has given a lesson to Prime Minister Imran Khan on the Kashmir dispute. Speaking in London, the United Kingdom, at a press meet, Afridi said Pakistan should not be demanding Kashmir as it was not able to handle even the four provinces it has.
“Pakistan doesn’t need Kashmir; it is not able to even handle the four provinces it has,” Afridi can be heard in a video of the press interaction.
However, while admitting that Pakistan had failed in its efforts to keep the country united and safe from extremists, the former cricketer ranted that people were dying in Kashmir and it pains to see that happen.
“Say Pakistan doesn’t need Kashmir, don’t give it to India as well, let Kashmir become a country. The people dying there should not die, humanity should stay alive. It pains to see people die there,” he told the press.
Afridi made the remarks ignoring a well-established fact that terrorism in Kashmir and the rest of India is being covertly sponsored by Pakistan and it has repeatedly been condemned by the international community for the same. Several terrorist groups active in India like the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed operate from Pakistani soil, their chiefs like Hafiz Saeed and Maulana Masood etc can be seen openly roaming the streets and giving provocative speeches.
It is not the first time that Afridi has commented on the Kashmir issue and also tried to provoke India. Earlier this year too, he had tweeted on the matter in April.
“Appalling and worrisome situation ongoing in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. Innocents being shot down by oppressive regime to clamp voice of self determination & independence. Wonder where is the @UN & other int bodies & why aren’t they making efforts to stop this bloodshed?” he had written on the social media platform.
Ahmad Faruqui, a Pakistani expert on national security issues, writes in the Pakistani newspaper Daily Times that “From the beginning, Pakistan’s strategic culture has been dominated by Kashmir.” He quotes from Anatol Lieven’s book “Pakistan: A Hard Country” that calls Kashmir as Pakistan’s single-minded obsession that has defined the (Pakistani) army’s “whole character and worldview.” Faruqui also quotes the book saying that “…the pursuit of Kashmir has done terrible damage to Pakistan, and could destroy Pakistan altogether.”