The tainted Pakistani all-rounder and a serial retirement-seeker Shahid Afridi has conceded a self-goal with his recent statements in Balochistan. Afridi is touring Pakistan in the wake of Coronavirus, putting the garb of a Good Samaritan, all but while using the opportunity as a platform to catapult into the Pakistani politics much like Imran Khan. Last month he had visited Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and had targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a horrid speech. Now he has travelled to Balochistan where calls to throw away the Pakistani government have been growing pace. Afridi had last month also demanded of a Kashmiri team in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) for which he was severely trolled.
Shahid Afridi "Balochistan has a lot of cricketing and football talent. I am always available to help with cricket here and have asked for a cricket academy to be set up here" #Cricket pic.twitter.com/oJXFDWjvuI
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) June 7, 2020
Afridi addressing the media said that Balochistan has a lot of cricketing and football talent and that he was always available to help with cricket here. The 18-year-old Afridi claimed that he had asked for a cricket academy to be set up here.
Afridi further said that he will take the prospective talent with him to Karachi where he will train and teach them. The all-rounder said that there is a lot of talent amongst the people of Balochistan but the people here do not get a place in the Pakistan National team. Afridi went about the same speech he had delivered in PoK and said that facilities were scarce in the region.
Severely trolled by Balochs
The moment the video came out on the social media platforms, the Balochs started targeting Afridi saying that the natives of Balochistan did not want his academy. Balochs further said that they were not dying of hunger but by the bullets of Pakistani atrocities against the Pashtuns and Balochs.
One tweeter by the name Jawud Mohammady said, “We are not dying of hunger, we are dying of state bullets. Balochistan does not want cricket, do you know about missing persons?
— Jawid Mohmmady (@jawid_mohmmady) May 4, 2020
Another netizen showed Shahid Afridi his place by saying, “We are not starving, we are dying of state bullets. Waziristan and Balochistan need a life of peace, not cricket”
شاہد آفریدی ھم بھوک سے نہیں ریاست کے گولیوں سے مر رہے ہیں۔وزیرستان اور بلوچستان کو کرکٹ کی نہیں بلکہ امن کی زندگی چاہیے
— Adnan KhaN (@adnankhanab87) May 4, 2020
“We are not dying of hunger, we are dying of state bullets. Balochistan doesn’t want cricket, do you know missing persons? Have you ever had any reaction or press conference about the targeted killing of Pashtuns and Baloch and mutilated bodies?” said one tweeter named Mubasher Wazir who pointed out to the targeted killing of Pashtuns and Balochs in the country.
شاہد آفریدی ھم بھوک سے نہیں ریاست کے گولیوں سےمر رہے ہیں۔ بلوچستان کو کرکٹ نہیں زندگی چا ہیے, تمیں کیا پتا لاپتہ افراد آپ نے کھبی پشتونوں اور بلوچوں کی ٹارگٹ کلنگ اورمسخ شدہ لاشوں کے بارے میں کوی ردعمل یاپریس کانفرنس کی ہے#PashtunGenocideByPakState pic.twitter.com/RQAGIT9FxB
— Mubasher Wazir (@MubasherWazir5) May 4, 2020
Netizens poured over him as one by the name Kashifbaloch ruthlessly trolled Shahid Afridi, “It will not be his turn for twenty years now. Let him spend a little of the money he has made from gambling. He has not given a single penny to a poor person. Now it will be lost in politics but nothing good will come of it.”
ابھی بیس سال تک تو اس کی باری نہیں آئے گی جوئے سے جو مال بنایا ہے تھوڑا خرچ ہونے دے کسی غریب کو تو اس نے ایک دھیلا نہیں دینا ۔ہمارے پنجابی میں ایک کہاوت ہے کھوں دی مٹی کھوں نوں لگدی ایں۔مطلب جوئے کا پیسہ اب سیاست میں ضائع ہو گا مگر ہاتھ کچھ نہیں آئے گا۔@ImranKhanPTI
— Kashifbaloch (@kashifbaloch454) June 7, 2020
شاہد آفریدی صاحب بلوچستان دورےکےدوران ایسےدعوےکررہے ہیں کہ بلوچستان میں آئندہ دودھ و شہدکی نہیریں بہیں گی خدارا ایسےدعوےنہ کریں خاں صاحب یہ دعوےپہلےبھی ایک کرکٹرنےکرکےعوام کوالوبنایا آپ بھی مہربانی فرماکر،ماموں بنانےکی کوشش نہ کریں کرکٹ تو آپ دونوں سےپٹ گیا ملک پر تجربہ نہ کریں
— Amanullah Kanrani (@amankanrani1) June 7, 2020
Not his first-brush with controversy
This is not the first time that Afridi has stirred the pot of controversy with his loose talks. After Modi government’s historic decision to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir last year, Afridi had tweeted in support of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s appeal to show solidarity with Kashmiris.
Let’s respond to PM call for Kashmir Hour as a nation. I will be at Mazar e Quaid at 12 pm on Friday. Join me to express solidarity with our Kashmiri brethren.
On 6 Sep I will visit home of a Shaheed. I will soon be visiting LOC.
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) August 28, 2019
Shahid Afridi once mentioned that when Pakistani cricketers are facing Indian cricketers on the ground, their orders are clear: “go and destroy them, almost like a suicide bomber does”. Despite such bomb pep talks, Pakistan, unfortunately, has never been able to beat India in World Cups across the formats.
Afridi is clearly a minion of ISI and Pakistani Army, working at their behest, trying to manufacture controversy every now and then. Just like Imran Khan, Afridi might be looking to foray into politics and therefore he is making such statements to stay in the limelight. Balochistan has long been simmering with unrest against Pakistani atrocities and the statements of Afridi have further enraged the natives of the region.