By RK Sinha
Sports personalities like Sachin Tendulkar, Roger Federer, Mohammed Ali and Pelé are considered and accepted by all as global citizens. Despite being players of countries like India, Brazil, America etc. they have fan following in billions across the globe. These all celebrity players,in a way, have came in the role of and earned the status of global citizens. But some players even after achieving the great heights of their career, indulge themselves in cheaper actions and comments that prove, how mean and selfish human being they are. Lets talk about Pakistan’s former, fast bowler Shoaib Akhter. He is now stating that, in 1999 when Kargil war was going on, he was ready to move to the battle field and take part in the war from Pakistan side. Braggart Shoaib Akhter is claiming that in order to take part in the war,he even refused the English County Nottinghamshire’s 1,75,000 British Pound offer. Kargil war was fought at a height of 16000 feet in which 1042 Pakistani soldiers lost their lives.
The big question is that, have they ever asked their own rulers why did they illegally tried to capture indian territories? Many writers-journalists of Pakistan also at that time highly condemned then Army chief Pervez Musharraf, and criticised him for his rashness which made Pakistan taste the retaliation and disgraceful defeat .
It is said for sports world which is true also to a great extent, that competitive spirit must be present in the players in the field. But once they come out of the field, they should not have any kind of enmity towards their rival contries and its players, belonging to any country, state or street. It is called Sportsman Spirit. But suddenly after 20 years of kargil war, Shoaib Akhter remembered about his lost contract of 1,75,000 Pound offered by Nottingham . But as the Kargil war started he refused this offer because he had decided to fight the war against India along with Pakistani Army.
Indian Premier League(IPL) was held in 2008 after a long time(almost 9 years) of Kargil war. Shoaib Akhter opted for it, got selected and played for Kolkata Knight Riders team. For this he was paid in millions. Why then, he did not thought about the country in which he was going to play cricket has badly defeated his country Pakistan in the Kargil war? Whether he was unaware about the defeat and abase Pakistan faced in 1948,1965 and 1971 war ? Even then he must be aware that after losing battle with India in 1971,Pakistan was divided into two parts and East Pakistan was liberated from Pakistan clutches and made an independent Nation Bangladesh. How shameless and mean person is Shoaib Akhter? The hateful way in which Shoaib Akhter is speaking today, the same course of action has been repeatedly shown by his friend and former captain of Pakistan Cricket team, Shahid Afridi. He unnecessarily and untimely raises the Kashmir issue quite often.
Afridi, without any reason, is bothered about the soreness of Kashmiri people and tries hypocritically, to show that he actually cares for them. But he completely becomes deaf and dumb while talking on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits and brutality they faced in their own home land. Are not they humans? Why Afridi,who always talks rubbish on Kashmir, never say a word on the uprisings and dissatisfaction going on in Balochistan province of Pakistan? And the brutality faced by Baloch masses and women by Pakistani Army to suppress the cessation demand of Balochs. Why do, Shoaib Akhter and Afridi who always raise issues from Kargil to Kashmir, did not notice the uprisings and clashes happening in Pakistan. They are either not understanding or don’t want to understand ,due to their personal cheap self interests,that a spark of rebellion has already transformed into a massive revolt. Baloch people demand complete independence from Pakistan. For this,an organisation named Balochistan Liberation Army is running an intense movement. Afridi must be knowing that Balochistan Liberation Army took responsibility of the terrorist attack done on stock exchange building of financial capital of Pakistan, karachi . Ten people lost their lives in this attack. Attackers used granade in this. Afridi, who always unnecessarily raises Kashmir issue has also played IPL from Hyderabad Sunrisers team. And even after that he always desired to play IPL. Why did he not raise Kashmir issue at that time?
After commenting superficially on india, they have disappointed crores of Indian fans. Their fans are always influenced by their performance in the field. But they have broken the heart of their fans by commenting against India. As they are influential persons in their own country, they could have, came forward and maturely taken strong step to promote harmony among both the countries. Instead of that they keep of commenting irresponsibly on Kashmir. But they are only talking uselessly. Have this immoral behaviour to curse rival country is shown by responsible players of India from any platform? I don’t think so and not even remember. This is the difference between India and Pakistan and their people’s mindset.
You must be remembering the restlessness shown by the sport lovers of the world, a few years ago, when Mohammad Ali and Pelé were sick. The reason behind their restlessness was their ill-health. They will be indisputably counted as greatest players of all time. They are relevant and important even after retiring from formal sports. Pele will be remembered with great respect, whenever football will be mentioned. Similarly Ali will be remembered with boxing. This achievement can also be credited to athlete of Jamaica Usain Bolt, our loved Sachin Tendulkar and great tennis player Roger Federer.
These all players have succeeded in achieving this height by their best possible performance and high level charcter inside and outside of the field. They are accorded respect by not only common people of their country but also the national heads like The President, The Prime Ministers and even the entire world. Hopefully, Shoaib Akhter and Shahid Afridi might have taken some inspiration from them.
(Writer is senior editor, columnist and former MP)