Since last three years, Pakistan’s celebrity cricketer Shahid Afridi has been following the all too familiar path of Imran Khan to grab headlines.
How do you do that well? India Bashing, proving yourself as a Radical nutcase and lastly suck up to Pakistan Army.
Out of all the complex deliveries, that Shahid Afridi has had hit for a six, these three have been the most natural to come by and the Imran Khan protégé feels, they will take him farthest.
He may not be altogether wrong.
Anti India Rants
Starting 2016, as run-up to retirement from T20 international cricket, Shahid Afridi laid foundation of his political ambitions.
What garners most interest to Pakistani radicalised population? Mention the Kashmir word, and the Pakistani media swoons over to by his side. He not only gets the attention, he grabs their fantasy, by declaring the same in Indian backyard, Mohali, after the T20 in March 2016.
Upon retirement from international cricket in 2017, Afridi goes Boom Boom on twitter and media on Kashmir plebiscite, while clueless on facts on withdrawal of Pakistani forces from occupied territories and calls to explain genocide of Muslims elsewhere in Pakistan.
Like Imran Khan, Afridi has laid foundations of his political career based on rants and ramblings, rather than some research work any issue.
From “Kaun Musalman Kaun Hindu(Both Alike) to Reprimanding a “Blasphemous Daughter” against Indian Customs
Shahid Afridi’s Changing Colour to that of a Radical Islamist
“I had asked my wife to watch them alone(Indian Serials showing Indian Culture) and not with the kids”.
Sounds apt for a middle class working Pakistani, torn between an aesthetically aware wife, love for shared culture abhorred diabolically by the systematic brainwashed radical Islamist mindset put in place by power-hungry Military-Mullah nexus.
But does it suits a prolific International Cricketer, who has played countries around the globe, having varied religions, cultures and race. One expects, despite nationality and background, playing together creates a bond with The Others, if not respect. Collective effort by 24 individuals on the field, be it from any side, instils a universal brotherhood. Wide, inclusive perspective in life, with international exposure, is common human experience for any person having empathy, but not in the case of Mr Boom Boom.
“I saw one of my kids performing ‘arti’ while watching a Star Plus show. I then smashed the TV inside the wall.”
Deranged, disturbed philosophy, reminiscent of household of a Taliban fanatic, is very much visible here. Such a person looks impervious to appreciate cultural/ethnic diversity. What he cannot tolerate in a house, unimaginable how he can tolerate range of ethnicity like Baluchis, Pashtuns, Punjabis, Sindhis and others such, put forth by the culturally rich and diverse Pakistan?
While in 2011, when India-Pakistan international relations were in an upswing, same Afridi, decided to sing along positives calling “Kaun Musalman Kaun Hindu”, however, he makes it clear how he views Cricket in terms of religious lines.
A perfect radical leader in making, already having leanings of ethnic and religious biases.
Pakistan Army: Love at First Sight
Imran Khan, since his political careers began, was comprehensive critic of Pakistani Military oppression, especially in the Pashtun regions. However, in the previous elections, he did a volte-face, and started the salvation of Pakistan Army in front of his Country.
With a successful Imran Khan experiment, it was viable for Pakistan Army to select future puppet leaders, to keep their population entertained. Shahid Afridi fits the bill comprehensively.
Imran Khan, winning captain of 1992 World Cup and Shahid Afridi the winning Captain of 2009 T20 World Cup.
Both record-holders, both equally bafoons though entertaining ones and both hypocrites.
Who can overlook Imran Khan’s promiscuous lifestyle while he was representing Pakistani Cricket, multiple marriages, allegations of women harassment while in office as Pakistani PM and to compound it all, were his comically ghastly statements on international platform.
Similarly, Shahid Afridi has been known for his tiffs with his teammates, on-field with opposition, and shoddy comments, not finding favour with his fans, as a mature person. To top it all, he is known to shoot first and think later.
Shahid Afridi calls Mark Nicholas ‘My Nigger’
While he prefers to keep his children in veil and be virtuous in Islamic way, he wishes to have intimate relationships, one such to come up and speak being Arshi Khan in 2015.
Cricketing spirit does survive borders, nationalities and religions. It gets based on collective human effort and essence of the game.
Recently, Harbhajan Singh faced flak, for supporting Afridi’s Foundation, which has been doing charity work during the pandemic. He revealed it was on Afridi’s request that he had made the appeal.
Shahid Afridi, upon accepting charity from India, evoked the Hindu-Muslim rant in front of Pakistani Army men in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(PoK). This was definitely an arranged visit, at behest of Pakistan Army, to take Kashmiri’s mind off the facts of changing demographic layout of PoK, oppression and economic slavery at hands of Chinese in the region.
And justify this sell-out of Kashmir, with the verve of Hindu-Muslim divide.
What Pakistan Army forgets, Pakistan is an Islamic republic. And they take this step further in terms of divides, is a Punjabi prevailing and further up the ladder intricately Pakistan Army prevailing society. Chinese occupy the apex of the hierarchy. While India is home to world’s second-largest Muslim citizens, with standard of living miles ahead of most of Pakistanis.
No amount of seeding “Hindu-Muslim”, in minds of Kashmiris can change this fact, but what this can do, is take Shahid Afridi one step closer to power circles of Politics in Pakistan, of course with blessings of Bajwa.
Similar to shaming a Hindu cultural tradition of “Arti”, he is bound to shame multicultural traditions in Pakistan, on lines of Pashtun-Punjabi-Baluchi-Sindhi-Shia divide. Just the recipe of politics, which interests Pakistan Army.
26 May 20/Tuesday Written By: Fayaz