Shahid Afridi with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. |Twitter|
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Is Shahid Afridi the new Imran Khan of Pakistan? Why not? After all he’s got all that’s needed to take the reins of prime minister’s office. He is handsome and without brains.

Since his retirement from international cricket, the former all-rounder has been in the news for his political aspirations. Someday, he may even become the prime minister of Pakistan–if the ‘selectors’ pick him.


Also read: From Imran Khan to Shahid Afridi, in Pakistan no one’s missing the coronavirus photo op


Afridi’s Kashmir card

2019 was a golden year for pretty much all PM-hopefuls in Pakistan. With India diluting Article 370 of its Constitution and bifurcating Kashmir into two Union territories, the field was open for many to build a political career. At one such event to ‘free Kashmir from the clutches of India’, while responding to Imran Khan’s call to stand for 30-minutes in a show of solidarity with Kashmir, Afridi told a triggered crowd about his grandfather Abdul Baqi Sahib, who was given the title of Ghazi-e-Kashmir. Hence, Kashmir belongs to him and his future generations. Why not. His dada and his batting average are a reason enough for India to get scared.

Keeping up with his rhetoric and at par with Pakistani PM Imran Khan, Afridi’s recent statements regarding Indian Prime Minister Nadrendra Modi, calling him buzdil and narrating how Pakistan served tea to the captured Indian Air Force pilot (Abhinandan Varthaman) who he considers a chooza, stirred quite a storm in a teacup. His statement also triggered a reaction from Indian cricketers who thought Afridi was way out of line. But they don’t know how that fantastic cup of tea will be used to ‘select’ future prime ministers in Pakistan.

Afridi’s love and hate vis-à-vis India has often led him into trouble. During the 2016 T20 World Cup in India, Afridi had said that he gets more love in India than in Pakistan–Pakistanis went crazy. In 2011, the former all-rounder had said that Indians weren’t large-hearted–Indians were offended.


Also read: In Imran Khan’s Naya Pakistan, a minority commission without minority


On a sticky wicket

To be fair, Shahid Afridi’s Kashmir policy is as fluctuating as his cricketing career. Before getting on to the ‘Kashmir Banega Pakistan’ bandwagon officially, there was a time when Afridi thought that Pakistan couldn’t even manage its four provinces, what would it do with Kashmir. But then times change and aspirations change too.

What is the play here? Is Afridi being groomed to become another viable political pawn by those who actually run the country? Nothing out of the ordinary for a country where all political leaders in the past have come through the fauji nurseries with some reaching the highest offices. However, Afridi considers the real rulers of Pakistan as donkeys and horses who need to be made insan ke bachche.

So what is it that the ‘selectors’ see in Afridi that they couldn’t find in Khan? Just another mouthpiece or a little more than that?

Afridi may have started his political career by raising his voice against ‘human rights violations’, but the issue is beyond his scope. When his heart cries for Kashmiris, we wonder why as a Pashtun, his heart doesn’t ache for his own people. Marred by oppression, violence and enforced disappearances, the Pashtun men, women and children are fighting for justice under the banner of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement. Do we see Afridi standing up for any of the causes that are actually within his reach?

When Afridi visits Kashmir, does he ever raise voice for the lack of development in the region? Probably, raising such issues won’t get him the kind of international attention that a ‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’ roar would bring an aspirational PM. In Pakistan, even a word on the sufferings of Uighur Muslims in China is deleted when it is not in accordance with the state narrative. So the causes an aspiring politician stands up for should match with the ones the state believes in.

To be fair, back in the day, Imran Khan held a stern anti-establishment line. His opposition to the military operation in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and to rights abuses in Balochistan was a hallmark of his political career in the early 2000s. All his opposition was diluted when he gave up his causes to come to power.


Also read: Imran Khan is binge-watching Ertuğrul during Covid, recommending Turkish shows to Pakistanis


Reading Afridi’s political mind

About the intellectual bandwidth of Afridi, the less said the better. He shared his political opinions (which might not be his) in his biography Game Changer and praised General Pervez Musharraf. Afridi described former army chief Raheel Sharif as someone who “was one of those stand-up-and-be-counted guys. Always ready to deliver.” Whatever that meant. He also gave us a scoop that Pakistan’s army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa “does better cricket analysis than most commentators and analysts.” Should we be worried that our future prime minister thinks that the army chief’s job is analysing cricket?

Afridi was also fond of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, before he said this: “But he (Sharif) didn’t learn much from all his time in and out of politics. His social media approach of late has been disastrous and has been divisive for Pakistan.” And of course, in all of this, Afridi wouldn’t have heard of a couple of coups here and there, which weren’t disastrous at all.

Under Afridi, Pakistan would be different from what it is now, but if you don’t believe that then you’re a hater. Afridi hoping that his biopic is made with Tom Cruise and Aamir Khan, or promising to end unemployment if elected as Pakistan PM may seem fanciful ideas, but these aspirations are real. The mask should come off and our favourite Lala should announce his political party and tell the world he’s running in the next general elections in Pakistan. Or wait, if he’s still 16 then we’ll have to amend the Constitution. Anyway, our next prime minister will be handsome and ‘16’.

In Persian, it is said: yak na shud du shud. As if one problem wasn’t enough, another rises. The winner of 1992 World Cup is in the PM seat and the winner of 2009 T20 World Cup is next in line. And we are just getting started.

The author is a freelance journalist from Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is @nailainayat. Views are personal.

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135 Comments Share Your Views

135 COMMENTS

  1. Your Prime Minister is the Butcher of Gujarat responsible for the killing of 2000 Muslims and Chief Minister of Indian state with highest population is Yogi Adinath who wants dead Muslim women to be taken out of graves and raped. You guys talking about Pakistan Prime Minister is an irony.

  2. Is Yogi Adinath the new Narendra Modi of India? Why not? After all he’s got all that’s needed to take the reins of prime minister’s office. He is communal, Muslim killer, Hindu terrorist, and without brains.

  3. Pak should vacate illegally occupied kashmir and will vacate in no time
    but what is afridi doing with kashmir
    Pak people should educate or else they can’t develop even in future

  4. Mr. Ex crickter is even not handle peon post
    and u media how can imagine ? (Future PM of terrorism factory )Why are giving highlight to Stupid.(this none of our business)God bless to all.

  5. Allah na kare aisa ho IK aik zani ha auraton ka pojari aur pathan b nahi aur Afridi in sab cheezon se door ha . Alhamdulillah

  6. I know Imran for about 4 decades and have seen many novices writing articles and becoming overnight sensation merely by fitting Imran’s name in the article… you are no exception … good luck with your future.

  7. Well if you insist shahid afridi can become our next PM i won’t mind this jibe as long brainless is the criteria…

    modi can be Indian PM twice then its ok.
    If you cam write an article of this attitude, its ok ….

  8. Misleading Indians is not a good example of journalism. Imran Khan has the intelligence to create a successful cancer hospital and a college. He’s shown more intelligence than the other politicians. Shahid Afridi need to show he can do something concrete.

  9. What do you think about your self. You don’t want write some thing about modi how he is treating Muslims in india and kashmir. You talking about Imran khan and Afridi they did not kill people like modi did in gujrat whole world calling him butcher you forget that

  10. God help Pakistan!!!!
    Afridi wants money from Indians like a beggar n then goes 2 Kashmir n makes stupid statements abt India’s P M etc.
    In fact some time ago this as@#$le said that muslims r better human beings than Hindus!! Wat a joker

    • Why u object. By making PM, gmail.comPiggistan will be in total disarray and Civil war will start sooner than latter and it will be good for d mankind.

    • Even a baby brain will think before a sudden demonetisation, which harmed millions of people, many died, GST harmed many small & medium size businesses, Now thé same baby brain, imposed a sudden CARONA VIRUS lockdown which have created such a panick among poor migrent labourers, which can n’t be discribed, so lets n’t critisize others.

  11. Pakistan has already fool and brainless minister and new one is also want join. Pak is lucky that it has this type ministers and become. brainless man afridi

  12. Indian cricketer of Afridi’s caliber may not get a chance to play a district level tournament. This is the level of Pakistani cricket.

    • Mr Pankaj Kulkarni: The article is about Shahid Afridi’s entry into politics, following the footsteps of another political novice Imran Khan. Let us restrict ourselves to that aspect of the matter.

      But since you have touched upon cricket, well, in all formats of the fame and starting from 1952, Pakistan has won more matches than India in India-Pakistan matches. That includes all formats of the game as well.

  13. Imran khan has more brain than you atleast that he is not saying anything what u r writting here. Dont write anything like this if you cant write good about good.

  14. Shahid afraid played for so many years for Pakistan. In India player of his caliber may not get a chance in a district level team then forget about national team. This is the level of Pakistani cricket.

  15. Unlike India, Pakistan does not have filmstars of any great significance. So the choice of leaders is limited to a few well-known figures such as cricketers – incompetent though they may be in everything else but cricket.

    India on the other hand is more blessed – we have many more sources of incompetence we can draw upon cricketers like Gautam Gambhir, Chetan Chauhan, actors like Hema Malini, Khirron Kher, sadhus like Sakshi Maharaj, sanyasins like Pragya Thakur, charlatans like Mallya, Nirav Modi and so on. So if it is a race to the bottom, India is not far behind Pakistan. Admittedly, the combination of mullah+military is its greatest asset in destroying the Pakistani economy, India can be relied upon to catch up with Pakistan in impoverishing the common man.

  16. This newspaper is against the current governance of India. Always writing articles to defame India and South Asia at the global scale. It’s very disappointing that such a prominent journalist is behind the functioning of this website.

  17. Best article on internal politics of Pakistan. It perfectly shows how pak army is dictating and using Pakistan for its own benefits. I appreciate the the truthfulness and deep study of writer… . Good work keep it up mam….
    And don’t look at haters…. They are just misguided junkies….

  18. Buffon of Pakistani cricket what have u achieved in world cricket is pin of the ice berg and now ur prepared to take up politics and kashmir issue which is not in ur Capacity of BRAIN!! Don’t dare to speak any rubbish about our PM ur not worth to his shoes soul foolish fellow??

  19. Yes you are right. He has got what it takes to become a worthy PM of Pak and is akin to Imran in this respect … both are sti n king ar se holes !! And you guys @print are great Indian Nationals to recognize such value in Pakistan !!

  20. You must be high on absurdity, hate and alcohol whilst writing this shot. I am sure this article has been written to appease the Indian lobby and Mr Tariq Fateh.

  21. Politician must be well qualified and silent. Not to be hot minded. That’s fellow only can show progressive way for Nation. We pray for progress in Pakistan.

  22. Politics is not cricket. We saw successfull cricket captain is doing so miserably. Criticizing & blaming others won’t solve problems .As long as Pakistan do proxy war by supporting the so called mujahedeen they cannot achieve anything.

  23. Lol for the writer 😂
    Imran Khan vs modi
    Oxford vs chai Wala
    Chai Wala is the best.
    Corona treated by modi with thali after 5
    And with Pooja past and of course go corona go 😁 play cards…lol

  24. Knowledge is not essential but character, you all above are fools. I think yours elders did not teach you how to treat with others and you do not know the ABC of discipline

  25. Well wat to say about Afridi. For 20 years he was only in his twenties. So wat can you expect from a man who hides his age like a girl .As he is jobless and to get into limelight and to make fast and easy money , wat better than entering Politics. As he was a cricket and close to Imran by bad mouthing about my country India, he is trying to win the heart of Pak Army , He to came to our cricketers with his begging bowl. It runs in their blood to beg, has he forgotten that so soon. Shame on you Afridi to further your political career you can stoop so low. Pok was and is Indians . Wait for the worst from Indian Army soon. You and others chamchas of your PM n Army will disappear from future tragedy soon.

  26. Besides the usual reaction from the readers, positive and negative, one fact cannot be denied that in Pakistan civilian politicians have been marginalized. The present PM has limited understanding or intent to give any direction to country. Anti India stance sells, so he resorted to that. Pakistan is obsessed with Kashmir since 1947, and it’s entire thought process revolved around it pushing the country on the brink of economic catastrophy repeatedly.
    If someone critisises the system, he or she is castigated. If Pakistan could think of developing the country economically or socially, the neighborhood cd also prosper. But seems most are with blinkers, limited vision

  27. It’s clear who is without brains you or Shahid Afridi. If u can’t feel the pain or sufferings of others you are not a human being and u don’t deserve to talk about those who feel it

  28. Hardly surprising to read the content of the article. A web news portal run by upper caste elites, it requires everyone to be subservient to their ideologies for being part of their umbrella. Nyla is the equivalent of Muqtar Abbas Naqvi for The Print.

  29. Madam, you must have been paid well by your Indian handlers,
    Why are you so allergic from Afridi, since he hates India like any patriotic Pakistani?
    Why are you in love with India? Go to India if you already not there.

    • Dear Abbas, the definition of patriotism is not in hating a neighbor, but in making a worthwhile contribution to the nation and it’s progress. I as an Indian, should focus on my country’s progress and you as a Pakistani should focus on yours.

      I and you should not believe in everything we get to hear from sources including the government sources. We should use our judgement as an educated person to distinguish right from wrong and then filter out the distractions before arriving at THE TRUTH.

      Please try my advice in the best interest of your own country.

  30. She belongs to cow extremist’s gang
    and she proves it with every non sense she writes..what her real name i think Nandhne patel…from Nandhne o remember asking you lot how is NANDHU ,still missing our fantastic tea,i bet he does:)

  31. Here.. in top comment sections..I saw few guys talk abt the article writter spreading hatred. (which she is actually not) However, these guys who commented..have no explaination or answers as for why afridi’s heart aches “only for Kashmir” but, not for his own people getting killed and brutalised in his own country?! BE REAL. stop faking love for kashmir. its cald land greedy. what is not your, cannot be yours !

  32. If someone ever wanted to see what an indian asset looks like, look at the “author” of this article. Pakistan based but india bias. These people are, unfortunately, plentiful in our country.

  33. Why so much hate for Afridi? If people like you write articles and send wrong message to Indian public how they will react if you can’t write something good don’t write bad things as well..what he is doing or what he will do in his future is none of your business…. Dont try to create hindu Muslim in india. I am Indian and proud to be… Jai hind

    • Right भारत मे कुछ भड़वे बैठे है जो पाकिस्तान में पैदा होने वालो केलिए सोहर गाने लगते है।

    • You can’t expect much from Print as they have already been hijacked by congress and they will do whatever they want to communalise any issue

    • There is no hindu muslim in this article or may be its in your mind and your community. Afridi used bad words for Indian PM, but not a matter for you , around
      700 years pass muslims didn’t become Indian and unlike Iran,Iraq and many other countries India did not conquered by muslims. You are the thefts, rapits living in my home.

    • Afridi is on record mocking Hindus,scolding his young daughter for watching Hindu Arti ceremony poisoning her mind ,teaching her hatered against India.
      Hindus have woken up and learn to differentiate between their friends and foes and will not be blind or turn their eyes away from harsh truth under the opium of Ganga Jamuni tehzeb which never existed but was only used as Taquiya.
      Pity is Indian Muslims have soft corner for Pakistan ,let them have but don’t expect it from Hindus who every day sacrifice their young men on border by the bullets of Afridi’s. Country

    • Awesome proud of you shadab…..we are Indian first and we all love India.We love our PM and each every citizen. Kudos to you Shadab bhai eid mubarak

    • You are a indian and you’re taking side of afridi even after hearing his trash talk about india.. Wow what a indian you are..

  34. Stop your hatred & biased posts. This is not news but malicious content provoking hatred that Indian criminals have been sowing for years. Mind your language and stop ridiculing others. This is not the way journals should work.

  35. Would you believe it just yesterday I was telling my wife, Shahid Afridi can be a perfect PM after ImranKhan, Under the guidance and assistance of PM and his own ability he will be a proven PM. What a person.

    • There is no hindu muslim in this article or may be its in your mind and your community. Afridi used bad words for Indian PM, but not a matter for you , around
      700 years pass muslims didn’t become Indian and unlike Iran,Iraq and many other countries India did not conquered by muslims. You are the thefts, rapits living in my home.

  36. No, Shahid cannot be even like PM Imran Khan Sahab.Shahid Afridi is useless fellow without a baby.The P M at least showed his mardanggi by having child.

  37. He was one of the most stupid cricket player of Pakistan,he never matured as a player nor as a human being,how will he manage a country like Pakistan with defunct intellectual ability, irresponsible attitude -devoid of foresight and a vision for his country,a man who does not understand his religion and islamic history.

  38. Pakistani’s as such are tired and miserable having a totally lunatic cricketer as PM. They certainly don’t want another who is sure to be much worse than Imran khan. Just like his batting skills, afridi is reckless in everything , even when multiplying like rabbits. What kind of a dumb person would have 5 children in such miserable times??!!

  39. Most absurd and idiotic article I have read recently. I think writer is definitely Brainless and full of venom.

    • The writer is brainless and Afridi is intelligent, is it not?. Now the world knows how “intelligent” you are.

    • Why do u guys even stay in India. Anything that comes against a mulla.. even if it’s true. U get offended.shows ur mindset. Better go and live thr…

  40. The Print ,The Pakistan similar irrelevant to India .

    Dragon had already swallow PAK infuture,a new name CHIPN may emerge ,Go and welcome! Great BAKHSEES awaiting for you.

  41. Another goat of sacrifice in the making. Iran’s days are numbered and army wants another pawn to put on the chair.

  42. I love these guys. I strongly recommend that whole Pakistani cricket team is inducted as ministers in their government. At least they will entertain both Indian and Pakistani public with their antics in these depressing Corona pandemic times. All of us need a strong dose of bawdy comedy by these jokers. This would be PM of Pakistan is just the right choice as Imran Khan has finished his jokes and act.

  43. We should get some educated people to come and run the government, then only we can save our country. We tried business man who lotted our country, we tried feudal lords who’s corruption had no limits, we tried army retired who had no vision and currently we are trying a sports man and God bless my country.

    The only way to prosper is to have educated people running the government with Islamic laws implemented and followed religiously.

  44. True, Afridi can be next PM of Pakistan as he has similarity of Imran, both being brainless. Imran’s Naya Pakistan failed miserably in all respects and what would be Afridi’s Naya Pakistan? The God maybe crazy😀

    • Gr8 to see, all indians are against imran khan, He is one of the best PM pak ever had, no wonder i nvr ever heard any speech against, zardari n nawaz, most corrupt leader… Imran khan is defeting india, diplomaticaly, specificaly modi, india was once knwn as biggest democrat country but now its a land of RSS, their first step towards grtr hind is kashmir….. But wait dnt forget ur surrounded by muslim countries, pak, afg, bang n ofcourse india itself hv lot of muslim who r tryn to prove thr loyalty towards india…. Shame on all indian muslims who nvr raise thr voice for kashmiris……wake up or ur turn comes…. Jag jaoo is se pehle ke tumhari ma behno pe wo waqt ajaye… Jo bechare kishmiri pe aya hey

      • Chill….the progress of each of the country since then proves where the real donkeys are & and going to remain.Chill … the world also knows where the real donkeys have moved…

      • As an Indian, I am not entirely in disagreement but partly, yes. What you failed to mention is that you left them behind who actually cried hoarse for the two nation theory but cleverly never crossed the border, rather pushed you out to one hell of a nation (a failed State?). Now you think again as to who is the real donkey. Good for you any way, you joined your own ilk in large number, who sadly never welcomed you with open arms. — Ravindra Parasnis

  45. At least on one count he is correct, the bit of Kashmir that is actually “azaad” is because of the tribals who went to war when called to arms

  46. You people @print.india allow a Pakistani author to write an article? Are Indian journalists not good? Don’t you know that every Pakistani has anti Indian mindset? Shame on you

    • Every Pakistani has anti Indian mindset”

      Nonsense Mr Rishi ! Outside of the sub-continent, Pakistanis and Indians get along very well. I live in Europe and have had Pakistani doctors and even Pakistani neighbours. When people let go of the hate that politicians back in both these countries preach, they quickly realise the benefits of co-operation and friendship. Indeed, one of my absolute best friends whilst I was a student at the University of Oslo, Norway was a chap from Pakistan. Both our fathers were military men for their respective countries. But his father was presumed killed in action in the 1965 Indo-Pak war whilst my father made it back home. That did not prevent us from becoming the best of buddies.

      Indian journalists do write for Pakistani publications whilst Pakistani journalists write for Indian publications – no harm in reading content from men of letters regardless of where they come from. For instance, Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-55) who moved to Pakistan (1912-55) was a prolific writer of poignant short stories of the folly of Partition. I would recommend you read Maanto’s fantastic short story Toba Tek Singh – reckoned by BBC* as one of the 100 top stories that shaped the world of literature.

      So Mr Rishi, stop braying and start reading.

      * bbc.in/36loJGN

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