A day earlier, a video of Afridi’s interaction with students at the British Parliament went viral and made headlines in the Indian media. In the video, Afridi could be heard saying, “Pakistan is unable to take care of these four provinces. Do not give it to India either. Pakistan does not want Kashmir either. Humanity is a big thing. The people who are dying there, it hurts us. Any death, whichever religion they belong to, is painful.”.
Reacting to the former cricketer’s remarks, the AJK premier while addressing an event in London said, “It seems that Afridi wants to play in the Indian Premier League and is issuing such statements owing to that.”
“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 AJK premier further said.
On Wednesday, following severe criticism from fans and Pakistani media, the firebrand cricketer 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.
This is not the first time that Afridi’s comments about Kashmir stirred controversy.
In April, the former Pakistani cricketer had tweeted condemnation of the clampdown by Indian forces on civilians in occupied Kashmir which did not go down well with several across the border, including Indian cricketers Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina among others.