From online to on/off field, how Pakistan targets and terrorises opponents

Asia Cup 2022: Pakistan's batter Asif Ali lost cool after dismissal, hurled bat at Afghanistan's Fareed Ahmad in a furious spat, earlier online targeting of Indian bowler Arshdeep Singh happened

In a thrilling Super 4 match at the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 on Wednesday, Pakistan defeated Afghanistan in the last over but it left a sour taste for cricket lovers worldwide.

Pakistan’s Asif Ali went against Afghanistan’s Fareed Ahmad in a heated exchange. Both players exchanged words as Asif raised his bat close to Fareed´s face and they pushed each other before Afghanistan players rushed to separate the two.

As reported by several media outlets incident happened in the 19th over when Pakistan’s batsman Asif hit a huge six on the fourth ball of Fareed Ahmad. However, on the next ball, Fareed got his magic back and outsmarted the batter with a bouncer as Asif top-edged the delivery straight into the hands of the short fine-leg fielder.  

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Jubilant Afghan players were celebrating on the ground, After getting out Pakistan’s Ali wasn’t happy with the bowlers’ reaction and he immediately pushed the bowler Fareed Ahmad back for celebrating on his face.

While Fareed did not shy from standing his ground, Pakistan’s batter Ali went one step further as he hurled his bat at the Afghan bowler before the players and umpires intervened and brought the situation under control.

Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi said after the match, “The boys were brilliant with the ball and the field. But again we didn’t finish well, we didn’t control our nerves at the end. We didn’t give up at any stage.”

Pakistan’s vice-captain Shadab Khan played down the incident, saying it happened “in the heat of the moment” and was best left on the field.

Most will leave incidents like this to the field however a lot of commentators have pointed out that Pakistan takes advantage of such incidents to score political points by dividing communities due to the social, cultural, political and religious complexities of the Indian subcontinent.

Meanwhile, coming to the game, after the win Pakistan team’s supporters were busy teasing and provoking Afghanistan supporters in the stadium.

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Which defiantly didn’t go well for them as a fight broke between the two groups.
Pakistan-based journalist Fakhr-e-Alam tweeted the video of the fight and called on International Cricket Council to take action, however, he didn’t say a word about Pakistan’s supporters.

“This behavior by Afghan cricket fans is so very shameful & disappointing… @ICC must ensure all cricketing venues are safe for fans..this violent behavior cannot be allowed. Hope local authorities take action against all the culprits. Very very sad and disgusting. #AsiaCup

An Afghan journalist who is also the founder of Afghan Peace Watch tweeted, “Even Pakistani players act like terrorists, intimidating Afghans on the playground.”

He further said, “Terrorists will always be terrorists. #AFGvsPAK

Just three days back after India- Pakistan match an Indian bowler Arshdeep Singh was targeted by Pakistan’s troll army. They used Arshdeep Singh’s religion to fuel tensions among the global Indian diaspora in the name of Khalistan propaganda.

What happened with Arshdeep?

Arshdeep became the target of vicious online trolling after he dropped a crucial catch in the death overs resulting in the defeat of his side against Pakistan in the Asia Cup game on Sunday night.

Criticism/trolling of players for poor performance or crucial misdeeds is part of the fan-player relationship. In the Indian subcontinent fans, sometimes take things to the far end when they run protests, and burn an effigy. However, in the social media age memes and redesigned pictures are in thing.


Vimal Kumar, an Indian senior cricket journalist told The Australia Today, “Some Indian fans trolled Arshdeep for the dropped catch which is understandable but pictures were shared on social media, stating that “he was named in Khalistan squad for the 2018 under-19 World Cup which is just insane.”

Vimal Kumar even confronted a person after the match who was trying to invoke Arshdeep Singh’s religious identity for dropping the catch

The word India was replaced with Khalistan on Singh’s Wikipedia page by an anonymous user even as these changes were shortly undone by another editor.

The edit history of Arshdeep’s Wikipedia page revealed that the user who made those changes was unregistered and was using the internet protocol (IP) address

The address allocation records showed that the particular address was allocated to the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).

Following Sunday’s match, Arshdeep Singh became the top trend on social media with most users originating from Pakistan and North America.

A Delhi-based self-proclaimed fact-checker Mohammed Zubair, who was recently arrested for his allegedly misleading tweets jumped the gun again with allegedly misleading claims about Arshdeep trolling.


Delhi-based Sikh leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa sought a police probe into the role of fact checker Mohammed Zubair, alleging that his “screenshots” were used by Pakistani users to fuel a hate campaign and defame India as part of a “conspiracy”.

Mr Sirsa said he had lodged a police complaint regarding the attempt to create an anti-India narrative following an Asia Cup match where cricketer Arshdeep Singh dropped a sitter.

Taking to Twitter, Mr Sirsa claimed,

“Police complaint against @zoo_bear who worked with Pak agencies to set “Khalistani” narrative against #ArshdeepSingh in India. Zubair’s screenshots were used by Pak handles to defame India and fuel a hate campaign against Sikhs in India. He was a part of a planned conspiracy against Sikhs.”

According to Mr Sirsa, Zubair’s screenshots were used by Pak handles to defame India and fuel a hate campaign against Sikhs in India.

“This is a planned conspiracy to create communal disharmony in our nation. We demand an enquiry into who supported Zubair in creating this Khalistani agenda,” said Mr Sirsa.

In another tweet, he demanded a strong message from Wikipedia.

“Wikipedia must be given a strong message that they can’t let Pak Agencies use its platform to run a hate campaign in India. See how Pakistan agencies started this “Khalistani” campaign in the context of Arshdeep,” he said.

Another video went viral which explained the origin of most social media posts calling Arshdeep Singh as a Khalistani from Pakistan and North America.

Social Commentator Anshul Saxena explained how accounts from Pakistan were running Khalistan propaganda & calling Arshdeep a Khalistani.


Mr Saxena said, “Pakistan is running propaganda & fake news that Indian media channel ABP news is calling Arshdeep Singh a Khalistani. They are making a narrative that the people of India hate Sikhs.”

“It’s clear that accounts from Pakistan started targeting Arshdeep Singh by calling him Khalistani Sad part is that some people of India also fell into the trap & trolled Arshdeep in the same way This is what Pakistan wants,” he added.

Indian team’s captain Rohit Sharma stood with young Arshdeep Singh.

This is not the first time Pakistan’s deep state using the religion of Indian players as a tool to plant their divisive agenda.

Indian ace bowler Mohammed Shami was also targeted in the same manner when India lost to Pakistan in the T20 World cup match.