Shahid Afridi (second left) speaks during an event in Dubai.
Tanvir Usman, Staff Reporter
Pakistan’s former cricketer Shahid Afridi has vowed to set up an Information Technology (IT) university in a rural area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in the coming years. Afridi made these remarks during a panel discussion at the launch of Samaa TV International in Dubai.
Afridi said that IT education is of utmost importance for Pakistani youth, especially in rural areas, to keep pace with the fast changing trends.
In an exclusive talk with Gulf Today, the star all-rounder, widely known as Boom Boom, said, “Currently, Shahid Afridi Foundation’s (SAF) primary focus is on setting up mobile hospitals in the rural and underprivileged areas of the province, where people lack basic health facilities. After that, we have plans to set up an IT university in rural KP, so that our youth could compete with the other nations. Of course, such kind of projects take time. It is not like building a school. Setting up a university, especially in remote area, requires a lot of home work and resources, but we will do it, InshaAllah.”
Shahid Afridi Foundation aims to provide educational opportunities for out of school children, especially girls, to be enrolled in a school and to complete their education.
The foundation not only aims to educate these children but also to provide other initiatives and opportunities as well. The schools are based on a community schooling system, focusing on academic and non-academic development of young minds.
To implement this plan according to the vision, SAF School initiative creates awareness in the community through family counseling sessions, co-curricular activities for students, medical camps and providing professional, capacity building trainings to the teaching staff.
While speaking during the panel discussion on the role of media, Afridi urged the mediapersons to avoid sensationalism and portray a positive image of the country.
“The breaking news culture for the sake of more viewership should be discouraged. There are so many positive things happening in Pakistan, why our media is solely focused on politics. These trends need to be changed,” he remarked.
Other panelists include Samaa TV CEO Naveed Siddiqui and senior analyst Kiran Naz.
Siddiqui and Naz highlighted the role of media in nation building and stressed that the responsible journalism is key to educating the masses and keeping a check on people in power in the best interest of the country.
Taking advantage of the Afridi’s presence at the event, public also got a chance to interact with the star cricketer.
While answering a question, Afridi said that former prime minister Imran Khan is his all-time favourite cricket captain.
Shedding light on his favourite cricketing moments, he said that the final match against India in Asia Cup was one of the unforgettable memory, where he hit two sixes in the last over to snatch victory from team India.
When asked about chances of Pakistani team winning the next T20 World Cup in Australia, Afridi said that the current players have capacity and talent to win the title.
He hailed Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman for their excellent performances in recent past. He also heaped praise on Shaheen Afridi, terming him Wasim Akram of the current era.