At a time when former Indian cricketers like Virender Sehwag, flop filmstars like Anupam Kher and attention seekers like Rishi Kapoor are spewing venom against Pakistan before the Champions Trophy final where India are Pakistan are set to clash on cricketing field, former Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi’s reply to his Indian fan’s note is a must-read for the doves on both sides of the border.
As one of his Indian fans, Chalukyan G, wrote a note mentioning Afridi with the hope that he might read this or others would read it because of the Pakistani star’s name, Afridi replied in the same manner.
Both the notes are a must-read.
“It was in 2016 Kashmir uprising I found the difference between Sehwag and you (Afridi). I don’t follow Indian cricket much, being aware of its Brahminical selection policies. It disgusts me. Coming back to 2016, where hundred plus Kashmiri civilians and kids were shot dead and thousands partially or fully blinded, which could be termed as World’s first Mass Blinding (For example, One of the thousand children blinded was Inshah Malik), Sehwag tweeted from his official Twitter account calling for a genocide on Kashmiris and praised the gross human rights abuses by Indian Armed Forces stationed in Kashmir. Whereas, You (Afridi) tweeted in favour of peace and against war,” wrote Chalukyan.
Drawing comparison between Sehwag and Afridi, the fan wrote that on June 16, when India defeated Bangladesh in semi-final, Sehwag not only limited himself to his ugly “Brahminist-nationalism” but also spewed some dirty words in his own forte, that is in cricket.
Well tried Pote. Great effort to reach semis.Ghar ki hi baat hai.
Father’s Day par Bete ke saath final hai. Mazaak ko serious mat liyo bete.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) June 15, 2017
Sehwag, in his tweet, mentioned Bangladeshis as grandsons and Pakistanis as sons who will, meet India, the father, in finals coming Sunday.
“Then I had to see your (Afridi’s) tweet where you congratulated the good play by India and waiting for the finals (between Pakistan and India). It is humans who make nations. And especially, humans with power and privilege. You have a privilege and you use it so well. I don’t have enough words to abuse you with more love my dear. Love you for your heart and a sane mind, Lala. A lot of love from Chennai,” wrote Chalukyan.
Interestingly, Chalukyan’s note is titled “Yes, I’m abusing you, Afridi”.
Well played India, Now time for the biggest game in cricket. Stay calm and focused team Pakistan. And yes #AikJeetAur 🇵🇰
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) June 15, 2017
Afridi, the cricketer everyone loves for his humility, replied and his reply was heart-warming as expected.
Here is what he wrote.
This is in response to your heart warming note, To start off with, why shouldn’t I had not read the note, its fans who make us, their love and appreciation is what matters the most after our performance. I thank you for taking out time and acknowledging the humanitarian work I do as part of my Shahid Afridi Foundation, the purpose of it solely is to work for fellow humans and do our bit in making their life better.
Whereas your comparison is concerned, I respect your thoughts however here’s my take on it;
Sports are supposed to bring nations closer and not take them at war. India and Pakistan have been arch rivals but despite of that I have let that remain till the field and not brought it home. I have some great Indian friends, Harbajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan to name a few with whom I have spent some great time.
My innings in Chennai has a great memory attached to it where the Indian crowd supported me and made me feel at home.
Their chants of Boom Boom and Lala still echo in my ears very loud whenever I think of it. Why forget I hosted the Indian team in Karachi at my residence back in the day during their tour of the country and how can one forget the unintentional carelessness could have lead to a greater cause of embarrassment, we all laugh at it now that we think of it haha.
Cricket and sports should be used to promote peace among nations, the act of an individual can never ever be taken as an act of the whole nation, if somebody is sledging or war mongering or passing inappropriate comments, it just shows and portrays their upbringing. As a sportsman, one must appreciate regardless of nationality if somebody or a team performs, be that be India even and that’s exactly what I did, we learn this way and that is exactly what we call sportsman spirit, perhaps those who are doing sledging or war mongering lack this sportsman spirit in them. I recently said in a statement that I get a lot of love and respect from India, your note just corroborates my claim, Indian fans are indeed very loving and hospitable.
Its easier to do war mongering, talk aggressive but that’s not being constructive, as sportsmen we’re the undeclared ambassadors of our country and I strongly believe we should be having great ties, restoring cricket and ensure cordial relations with neighbors but for that the Indian side has to make a sincere effort too.
I advocate peace and love, I advocate for humanity and it is my belief that the war mongering hysteria from across the border that portrays the mindset of few will end, We in Pakistan have evolved and have come out of this anti India sentiment, I pray one day our neighbors will evolve too.
Here’s hoping to meet you one day, when the borders will be treated as borders, Neighbors will treat us and look at us with respect and Cricket will be the real winner.
Regardless of whoever wins the Champions Trophy Final on Sunday between Pakistan and India, a good game of cricket is what I’m looking forward to – May the best team win.
Love and Regards,
Shahid Khan Afridi