The Pakistani Taliban has warned the Pakistani media to stop praising Indian cricket player Sachin Tendulkar, who retired last week from a stellar 24-years career in cricket.
In a video posted on YouTube, Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid urged Pakistanis to be “patriotic” and instead support Pakistan’s national cricket team captain Misbah-ul-Haq, although he is “pathetic,” the BBC has reported.
"An Indian sportsman whose name is Tendulkar was praised by the Pakistani media and in fact a lot of Pakistanis [also] complimented him," the BBC quoted Shahidullah Shahid as saying in a video recording.
"At the same time [the media] showed disapproval of Misbah-ul-Haq. [But...] Even though Tendulkar is a great sportsman you should not praise him, as it is against the national interests of the country.
"Instead you should praise Misbah despite the fact that he is a pathetic player, because he is ultimately a Pakistani."
According to the BBC, Shahidullah called on the Pakistanis for this gesture in an overall message for them, urging them "not to comply with the government's [untruthful] agenda," and show greater patriotism.
The news comes at a particularly tricky time given the Taliban’s newly elected leader, and Tendulkar’s retirement which took over both the Indian and international media last week given his tremendous popularity in international cricket.