SRINAGAR: What led Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi to remark, much to the chagrin of some hypernationalist Indian news channels, that a lot of people ‘from Kashmir have come to support’ his team during the World Twenty20 match against New Zealand in Mohali on Wednesday?
Nasir Patiguru, a Kashmiri who had traveled to Mohali to support the Pakistan team, told Kashmir Reader that Kashmiri supporters had been singing popular Kashmiri folk songs in the stands.
“We were singing ‘Lala Zula Zalyoo (dear, let me light up wedding lights for you) and ‘Bobai suen kehai ronut, Badaam Gojay’, Pakistanuk fouj ha aai (mother, Pakistani warriors have arrived, I think you must have cooked almonds for them),” Nasir said.
“When the sloganeering intensified, Afridi visited a stand and asked us what these slogans meant. We told him that we have come from Kashmir to support Pakistan and also translated the Kashmiri slogans for him into Urdu,” he added.
Nasir said that Afridi told the Kashmiri fans that he had heard ‘Lala Zula Zalyo’ before.
“He thanked us for the support,” said Nasir who had come along with a group of 12 other Kashmiris.
“On way to Mohali we had been scores of Kashmiris heading for the venue,” he said.
And when Afridi later told former Pakistani cricketer Ramiz Raja that a lot of Kashmiris had come to support his team, he drew flak from Board of Control for Cricket in India and TV channels.