Shahid Afridi under fire over Kashmir comments

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MUZAFFARABAD: AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Thursday lashed out at former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi for his remarks on Kashmir.

A video of Afridi’s interaction with students at the British Parliament went viral and made headlines in the Indian media over his comments about the longstanding Kashmir dispute.

“Pakistan is unable to take care of its own four provinces. Do not give it to India either. Pakistan does not want it either. Humanity should be our main concern. People are dying there. Any death, whichever religion they belong to, is painful,” Afridi said.

The comments apparently did not go well with the AJK’s prime minister.

“It seems that Afridi wants to play in the Indian Premier League and is issuing such statements owing to that,” Raja Farooq told a gathering in London.

“Kashmir is a matter of life and death for us,” the AJK premier asserted. “Afridi should not play with the emotions of Kashmiris like this and there will be no compromise on Kashmir’s independence,” he added.

“Players should not issue such statements,” Haider urged. He further said that Indian elections are heading which is why their forces are “constantly violating the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC)”.

“The United Nations is aware of Indian atrocities in Kashmir and will have to take immediate measures in this regard,” the AJP premier further said.

Afridi, however issued a statement on social media, clarifying his “passionate” remarks and accusing Indian media of misinterpreting his comments and presenting them “out of context.

“My comments are being misconstrued by Indian media! I’m passionate about my country and greatly value the struggles of Kashmiris. Humanity must prevail and they should get their rights,” Afridi said in a tweet.

“My clip is incomplete & out of context as what I said before that is missing. Kashmir is unresolved dispute & 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,” he added.