Former stars of fierce cricket rivals India and Pakistan traded online barbs on Tuesday over New Delhi’s explosive decision to strip restive occupied Kashmir of its autonomous status. Indian ex-cricketer Gautam Gambhir took a swipe at former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi after he urged the United Nations to intervene in the move to bring the region under the national government’s direct rule.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist party on Monday rushed through a presidential decree to scrap from the constitution the special status held by occupied Kashmir for seven decades.
‘“Kashmiris must be given their due rights as per #UN resolution. The rights of Freedom like all of us,” Afridi, who announced his retirement from international cricket last year after playing 398 one-day matches, wrote on Twitter.
“Why was @UN created & why is it sleeping? The unprovoked aggression & crimes being committed in Kashmir against #Humanity must be noted. The @POTUS must play his role to mediate.”
Afridi has been vocal about his political views online, often getting into social media fights with Gambhir, who is now a member of parliament for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.
The 37-year-old Gambhir, who quit all forms of cricket in December, was quick to respond to Afridi’s post.
“@SAfridiOfficial is spot on guys. There is ‘unprovoked aggression’, there [are] ‘crimes against humanity’,” said Gambhir in a tweet.
“He shud be lauded for bringing this up. Only thing is he forgot to mention that all this is happening in [Azad Jammu and Kashmir].” Pakistan had strongly condemned the unprecedented Indian move to revoke Kashmir’s special status.
“Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on Monday.—AFP