Pakistani Kohli fan facing 10 years in jail for hoisting Indian flag

By AFP
Published: January 28, 2016
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: A Pakistani cricket fan is facing up to a decade in jail after he was charged Wednesday for jubilantly waving the flag of longtime foe India when his idol Virat Kohli made a match-winning knock.

Police said Umar Daraz, 22, went “against the ideology of Pakistan” when he waved the flag at his house in Okara town in Punjab province Tuesday during the match against Australia in Adelaide.

Daraz was celebrating Kohli’s amazing knock of 90 not out, which set up India’s 37-run win in the first of three Twenty20 internationals against Australia.

His conviviality and subsequent arrest came Tuesday, as Pakistan’s arch-rival India marked its national Republic Day.

Kohli’s Pakistani fan arrested for hoisting Indian flag on rooftop

Nuclear-armed neighbours Pakistan and India have a long history of animosity dating back to independence from Britain in 1947, and have fought three wars.

Regional police officer Faisal Rana said Daraz was charged under Pakistan’s penal code with acting against Pakistan’s sovereignty. He could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine.

“Daraz initially told us that he is a true Pakistani but likes Kohli and never knew that was a crime,” Rana told media.

“His act is against our country’s sovereignty and is against the ideology of Pakistan.”

Rana said Daraz’s home was also full of Kohli pictures.

“He is a diehard fan of Kohli and there were big posters pasted on the walls of his house,” the officer said.

India stalled cricket matches against Pakistan in the wake of a 2008 militant attack in the commercial hub Mumbai that left 166 people dead and was blamed on extremists based across the border.

Last month, India refused to play a planned series with Pakistan after agreeing to stage the matches in the neutral venues of Sri Lanka.

The foes last played a full bilateral series in 2007.

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Reader Comments (31)

  • Ahmed Ali
    Jan 28, 2016 - 12:39PM

    Total exaggeration. He will be released shortly and warning that this is sensitive issue and he needs to be careful. 10 years ? impossible. Pakistani state has been quite soft with respect to India, unlike across the border where even pigeons and balloons are taken as some Pakistani conspiracy against India ! Recommend

  • rajesh
    Jan 28, 2016 - 12:51PM

    The poor illiterate guy should be pardoned. He knows only love.Recommend

  • FP
    Jan 28, 2016 - 1:14PM

    There is a difference in supporting an indian player and waving a flag on rooftop. But still 10 years jail is too harsh decision. He should only be fined and warned.Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Jan 28, 2016 - 1:46PM

    Imagine if the headlines read: “Indian Afridi fan facing 10 years in jail for hoisting Pakistani flag”.
    This is why Pakistani justice system is considered to be among the worst in the world.Recommend

  • M Ali Khan
    Jan 28, 2016 - 1:47PM

    Absolutely SILLY reason to jail someone when a talking to from mohalla elders and the local SHO should have been enough to help the kid avoid any further unnecessary trouble.

    Also, waving Indian flag is not against “ideology and sovereignty of Pakistan” just like waving Pakistani flag should also not be taken as a threat in India.

    Live and let live, and grow up please!Recommend

  • fawad
    Jan 28, 2016 - 1:52PM

    Poor guy, by hoisting Indian flag he surely broke the rule.but he had no bad intended agenda. Compare this to Pakistani flag hoiting in Kashmir. I don’t know what punishment they got.Recommend

  • Jan 28, 2016 - 1:57PM

    I am sure he will be released soon. 10 days even too much for this!!Recommend

  • jssidhoo
    Jan 28, 2016 - 2:17PM

    We are carrying this hatred bit a bit to far Recommend

  • Jan 28, 2016 - 2:23PM

    He should be forgiven because he had no idea what exactly he was doing. By the way, we Pakistanis are more liberal than indians and these kind of petty issues must not be reported.Recommend

  • Besharam Khan
    Jan 28, 2016 - 2:33PM

    BEWARE! As per new parliament resolution even sympathizers of criminals will be treated as criminals. This guy committed a crime and non awareness of law doesn’t exempt you from punishment. so please stop sympathizing with a criminal. Sympathizers of such criminals can also land in jail.

    IT Ministry and LEA’s are watching your online activities. Precaution is better than cure Recommend

  • Ahad Aslam
    Jan 28, 2016 - 2:36PM

    What is it that you are trying to achieve by jailing someone for this gov? Don’t make the same mistake India makes. This is a free country, let it be free.Recommend

  • nasser
    Jan 28, 2016 - 2:37PM

    Sad affair. People of both the countries should rise and hoist flags of each other’s countries on their rooftops… send a message to hawks on both sides that enough is enough. Recommend

  • Muhammad Kashif
    Jan 28, 2016 - 2:50PM

    @ FP,

    You are right, he waved flag on rooftop, he deserves a jail term may be less, so next time no one else shows this kind of wrong act against Pakistan’s law.Recommend

  • Rollin & Trollin
    Jan 28, 2016 - 3:08PM

    @rajesh:
    Of course he should be, for was it not the PM himself who hoisted an Indian Rajahstani ‘flag’ on his head not too long ago ?!Recommend

  • Shakil Ahmed Khan
    Jan 28, 2016 - 3:52PM

    may be innocent mistake! wonder where did he get the indian flag though! I have never seen Indian flag being sold in Pakistan unless he got Dr Qadri party flag and put a wheel in the middle to make it Indian flag!Recommend

  • Another Indian
    Jan 28, 2016 - 3:57PM

    @Rolling .. Yes – it makes complete sense. The fan should get lifetime in prison.Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jan 28, 2016 - 4:00PM

    Against sovereignty and ideology of Pakistan. Wonder whether the Police Officer knows what is the Ideology of Pakistan, since most citizens do not have a clue. Making a spectacle of the country to an international audience.Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Jan 28, 2016 - 4:44PM

    At least they did not bomb his house using a JF17 and then call him a terrorist like the poor people from BalochistanRecommend

  • Jan 28, 2016 - 4:47PM

    @rajesh:
    TrueRecommend

  • Pawan
    Jan 28, 2016 - 6:20PM

    So now punishment for terrorists involved in Mumbai attack but 10years for hoisting a flag?Recommend

  • someone
    Jan 28, 2016 - 6:24PM

    Hmm…I wonder how many years did those Kashmiri kids go to jail for hoisting Pakistan flag in India ???? 0 years I guess. In fact not a single day. That should clear the mind of millions in Pakistan about tolerance of India.Recommend

  • jssidhoo
    Jan 28, 2016 - 6:47PM

    @M Ali Khan :Live and let live that is the right approach Recommend

  • hamza maher
    Jan 28, 2016 - 6:49PM

    From where did this guy got Indian flag!Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jan 28, 2016 - 7:39PM

    One way to protest is for more Pakistans to put up indian flags.Criket is just a game Recommend

  • VA
    Jan 28, 2016 - 8:17PM

    @hamza maher:
    From the same people who make Israeli, American, and other flags for right-wingers to burnRecommend

  • jaisingh01
    Jan 28, 2016 - 9:02PM

    This time i am with Pakistani’s.I think the punishment is too much ,guy should to be pardoned. Recommend

  • Naeem
    Jan 28, 2016 - 9:02PM

    Why do our justice system has time for these irrelevant matters. For God sake wake up. This is no immediate or long term threat to Pakistan ( nuclear power).Recommend

  • Jan 29, 2016 - 7:44AM

    Huh – whats the use of bonhomie between Nawaz Sharif and Modi if this is the ground situation. Can PM Nawaz Sharif at least intervene and get the cricket fan off the hook and at least prove that he is in control??Recommend

  • Rahul
    Jan 29, 2016 - 9:03AM

    @khurram shahzad: By the way, we Pakistanis are more liberal than indians and these kind of petty issues must not be reported.

    Liberal in what?Recommend

  • Saad
    Jan 29, 2016 - 10:00AM

    @Rahul:
    To your question, in patriotism. We donot take things related to state seriously and give free space to anit state elements. So I am a little surprised that police took it so seriously. It’s not a serious offence. Recommend

  • Muhammad Kashif
    Jan 29, 2016 - 1:52PM

    @ All,

    A decent and educated indian knows that same or more is the punishment level if an indian hoists a Pakistani flag in Delhi or Calcutta , but on this tribune comments forum, no indian seems to be educated at all and showing their third class mentality.Recommend

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