Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi Monday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan must do more about Kashmir and that both the neighbours need to resolve the issue through a Kashmiri-owned, Kashmiri-led peace process, PTI reported.
Speaking at the launch of his autobiography, Afridi said, “Kashmir belongs to the Kashmiris. Not to Indians. Not to Pakistanis. That debate comes later. But first and foremost, Kashmir is for the Kashmiri people themselves.”
Afridi praised Khan for the steps taken towards rehabilitating the peace with India by opening the Kartarpur corridor and releasing IAF pilot Abhinandan after February’s stand-off. “However, Imran Khan must do more about Kashmir. We have to resolve that issue. We have to save the Kashmiri people, and we must involve them in the peace process. Nobody in the Indian subcontinent has suffered or struggled more than Kashmiris,” he said.
“So much resources go into guarding this territory. So much goes into policing the Line of Control. So many mouths can get fed, so many minds can be nourished, if India and Pakistan resolve the Kashmir issue through a Kashmiri-owned, Kashmiri-led peace process,” he writes.
Afridi also claimed that Khan is “relatively more flexible than Modi ji” and “he has already proven this”.
The former captain regrets not voting in the 2018 elections. “The 2018 elections in Pakistan were a landmark one. A cricketer is now the prime minister of the world’s sixth most populous country. Unfortunately, these elections came with some serious baggage.
“A narrative that continues to do the rounds is that the polls were not fair. I feel the jury is out on that one: it was a 50:50 thing,” he writes.
“Imran Khan is now the elected prime minister of Pakistan. We have to give him the respect that a prime minister deserves. We have to make things work. As for his vision, I don’t have any doubts about Imran’s integrity or the goals he has set to achieve – a vision that he calls ‘Naya Pakistan’, the new Pakistan. The real question which bothers me, though, is his team selection,” he says
He also says that he knows commenting about the prime minister is easier said than done.
(With PTI inputs)