KARACHI: As soon as Pakistani flamboyant cricketer Shahid Afridi extended support to innocent Kashmiri civilians on social media against Indian brutalities in the occupied valley, all hell broke loose on Twitter as some really hostile and abusive reactions poured in including from some ‘notable’ Indians.
Afridi had also urged the United Nations (UN) and ‘other international bodies’ to take notice of the Indian oppression and stop the bloodshed of the defenceless civilians at the hands of Indian military.
Appalling and worrisome situation ongoing in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.Innocents being shot down by oppressive regime to clamp voice of self determination & independence. Wonder where is the @UN & other int bodies & why aren't they making efforts to stop this bloodshed?— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) April 3, 2018
The tweet also stirred a mild storm in the Indian media, which launched a campaign against the Pakistani cricketer. Indian TV channels attacked Afridi, saying his tweet in favour of Kashmiris was tantamount to insult on India.
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Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir and a parody account of current batsman Ravindra Jadeja were among those who tried to fire broadside at the Pakistani pinch-hitter.
Gambhir said by mentioning the UN, Afridi must have meant ‘Under Nineteen’ which he suggested was 'his age bracket' and mocked him for celebrating off a no-ball.
Media called me for reaction on @SAfridiOfficial tweet on OUR Kashmir & @UN. What’s there to say? Afridi is only looking for @UN which in his retarded dictionary means “UNDER NINTEEN” his age bracket. Media can relax, @SAfridiOfficial is celebrating a dismissal off a no- ball!!!— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) April 3, 2018
'Sir Jadeja', in a series of responses, not only called Afridi ‘beta’ [son] but claimed that the latter’s whole country was ‘Pak occupied India’.
Beta Shahid Afridi,— Sir Jadeja fan (@SirJadeja) April 3, 2018
You Dare Not Call It "Indian Occupied Kashmir",#Kashmir Always Belonged To India. In Fact Your Entire Country Is "Pak Occupied India".
Have Balls To Critise US Designated Terrorist Hafiz Saeed Trying To Become Your PM?#BoycottPakistanhttps://t.co/rxeIy3dK6z
Lashing out at ‘pseudo liberal’ and ‘spineless’ Bollywood celebrities, he urged the whole nation to boycott Pakistan.
Gautam Gambhir Hits Terrorist Supporter Shahid Afridi Out Of The Park. Waiting For Pseudo Liberals To Label Him As Sanghi.— Sir Jadeja fan (@SirJadeja) April 3, 2018
Kudos To #GautamGambhir. Wish Other Spineless Celebs Specially From Bollywood Could Stand For The Nation As Strongly As He Always Does.🇮🇳#BoycottPakistan pic.twitter.com/oPqJdt1tGk
He also tried to confront Afridi by mentioning US sanctions on Hafiz Saeed’s political party.
Shahid Afridi Asking For International Bodies To Intervene? You Know How Much Respect You Have In Int'l Community?— Sir Jadeja fan (@SirJadeja) April 3, 2018
👉Today, US Designated Hafiz Saeed's Milli Muslim League As Terror Outfit
👉Last Week Your PM Was Stripped Naked On KFK Airport, USA#ShahidAfridi #GautamGambhir pic.twitter.com/1cN3IItcha
Another Indian Twitterati attempted exploiting the situation and promoted hate against Pakistani sportspersons and artists.
Hello Libbies— Amrita Bhinder (@amritabhinder) April 3, 2018
Do see, even Pakistan’s cricketers are working against India’s sovereignty, using Kashmir to peddle their propaganda
So, this whole narrative that fun & games & movies have nothing to do with foreign policy is plain hogwash
Non-state actors play vital roles too! https://t.co/3hscP5FZqn
DG ISPR Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor, tweeting from his personal account, came up with a befitting response to the Indian media's unwarranted cricticism at the Pakistani star.
He showed Gambhir the right way.
At least 20 people were killed in a Sunday search conducted by Indian forces in Shopian district of the restive region. Over 100 were injured in the operation.
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The incident drew strong reactions from the Pakistani authorities.
UN Secretary General António Guterres also reacted on the incident, saying that a thorough investigation needs to be conducted pertaining to the recent killing of Kashmir youth by Indian troops.
Responding to a question during the daily briefing, the UN chief’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said, “Civilians have to be protected wherever they are, whether it is in Gaza, whether it is in Jammu and Kashmir, whether it is in Yemen; it is a basic principle.”