Protester To Football Captain: Here's How Kashmiri Girl Afshan Ashiq Managed The Unthinkable

By Sajeer Shaikh | 4 Jan, 2018

We still live in a world where women are yet to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with men due to countless obstructions.

However, time and again, some women achieve the unthinkable. So, when you get down to think about it, how does a female protester in Kashmir make it all the way to becoming the Captain and goalkeeper of a women’s football team? Well, here’s how 23-year-old college student, Afshan Ashiq managed to achieve the very same.

Via Nissar Ahmad

Afshan first made headlines when a picture of her pelting stones at a protest went viral.

Clad in a shalwar kurta, with a dupatta masking her face, Afshan left a deep impact on viewers everywhere.


Afshan was hurling stones at security forces in Srinagar.

The unrest in Kashmir had already been a focus of many discussions. The picture further sparked a new debate on social media platforms. Some people commended her for her bravery. Others were angered that a woman was confronting security forces.

Via Twitter

However, amidst the criticism, Afshan was identified to stand out as a strong individual. 

Soon, it was found that she’s an avid footballer. Meetings were set up with notable individuals such as Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti. She furthered the cause by promoting Afshan and women’s football.

Via Twitter

Afshan once said that the picture turned her sporting career around. Moreover, it enabled her to introduce young Kashmiri girls to football. 

She is now the captain and goalkeeper of Jammu & Kashmir’s women’s football team. Afshan and her team keep slaying the competition time and again, and serve as symbols of empowerment each day.


A viral photograph, some untethered passion, and a whole lot of impeccable talent introduced the world to a global treasure. 

Like Afshan Ashiq, there may be many other young girls filled to the brim with talent. However, they may not get that viral photograph to introduce them to the world. Here’s hoping Afshan’s story encourages them to utilize possible avenues to have their talent discovered as well.

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