Afridi, Gambhir in Twitter spat over Indian move on occupied Kashmir

August 06, 2019

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A file photo of former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi and Indian ex-cricketer Gautam Gambhir. — AFP/File
A file photo of former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi and Indian ex-cricketer Gautam Gambhir. — AFP/File

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.