“You can see how many times we have had friendship in 60 years and how many times relations got strained.” —Photo by Reuters
“You can see how many times we have had friendship in 60 years and how many times relations got strained.” —Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, whose team lost to India in the cricket World Cup, has delivered a tirade against Indian media for worsening political ties between the two great rivals.

In a Pakistani TV show aired Sunday by a private channel, a bitter Afridi was repeatedly applauded by the studio audience and praised Pakistan’s media for being “a hundred times better”.

“As far as Indian media is concerned, their approach is very negative. I believe their role has also been very dirty especially in terms of worsening ties between our two countries,” he said.

“If I have to tell the truth, Indians cannot have the kind of hearts that Pakistani Muslims have. They cannot have the big and clean hearts that Allah has given to Pakistanis.”

His remarks cut across praise from the United States for the cricket diplomacy between India and Pakistan, whose leaders met for the semi-final that Afridi’s side lost by a mere 29 runs.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani to watch the World Cup match between the two nations last Wednesday – the first time a top Pakistani leader visited since 2001.

But while analysts said the cricket had given the rivals a fresh impetus to continue a sustained dialogue, Afridi seemed less optimistic.

“It is very difficult for us to live with them or have a long-term relationship with them,” he said. “You can see how many times we have had friendship in 60 years and how many times relations got strained.”

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since the subcontinent was partitioned in 1947. In India, on the eve of the semi-final, Afridi had called himself an “ambassador for Pakistan, so I should know what to say.”

“I think it’s a great sign for both countries and sports, especially cricket always brings these two countries together,” he added.

Opinion

Editorial

China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...
Another lynching
Updated 22 Jun, 2024

Another lynching

The chilling alternative to not doing anything — which appears to be the state’s preferred option — is the advent of mob rule.
Tax & representation
22 Jun, 2024

Tax & representation

THE taxation measures outlined in the budget for the incoming fiscal year have triggered a lot of concern among ...
Life of the party?
22 Jun, 2024

Life of the party?

THE launch of Awaam Pakistan, a party led by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister...