Javed Afridi receives honourary ‘golden visa’ by UAE govt

DUBAI: Peshawar Zalmi owner and businessman Javed Afridi has become the first Pakistani receive a honourary ‘golden visa’ by the United Arab Emirates.

Afridi said been recognized for supporting the community through sports and his resounding success as a businessman. While speaking to Dubai-based media outlet, Afridi said he can never thank the UAE enough for the wonderful gesture.

“I am pretty much grateful to the leadership of the UAE for the visa. It’ not just a visa, it’s also to pass on the message to the next generation that if someone has the ability, he can achieve those things. I am hopeful that this course of action, many investors will come to the UAE,” said Afridi.

Afridi also showed his admiration for the UAE’s efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic and said the recovery has been exemplary.  Afridi said he hopes to play a key role in the relations between the UAE and Pakistan.

Afridi revealed what inspired him to take a plunge into the T20 cricket when the Pakistan Super League (PSL) was launched in 2015. He said Peshawar is very close to his heart but the city and the province had gone through a lot due to terrorism, and sports can bring people together.

He said international cricket is back in Pakistan and they will make sure cricket is back in Peshawar as well. He said they will have some matches next year in Peshawar.

Afridi says cricket can play a big role in bridging the gap between India and Pakistan. “When the relations between Pakistan and India improve, I would like to see matches between PSL and IPL teams. The political differences between the two countries, I hope can be reduced by cricket,” he said.

“Now we have a cricketer (Imran Khan) leading our country. And now we have a great opportunity because Pakistan would be granted visas for the World Cup in India. I think we, as stakeholders in cricket, have a role to play in bringing the two countries together.”

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