Ahead of the much-anticipated clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in the ongoing World Cup, a Pakistan TV channel has aired a promotional advertisement wherein a character mimicking Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has been shown.
In a 33-second video released by Pakistan's Jazz TV, the character impersonating Abhinandan can be seen sporting the Indian Air Force pilot's signature moustache. However, instead of a military dress, the character is shown wearing the jersey of the Indian cricket team.
The look-a-like repeats Abhinandan's viral statement "I'm sorry, I am not supposed to tell you this,” several times in the advertisement as he is asked questions related to India's playing XI and the team's strategy if it wins the toss.
He is also seen sipping a cup of tea -- much like the way Abhinandan was seen in clips made public by the Pakistani authorities after his capture on February 27 when Pakistani jets downed the Air Force pilot's Mig 21 Bison.
After two questions, the character impersonating Abhinandan is told by the interrogator to leave. As the impersonator gets up to leave, he is pulled back by the interrogator who says: "Ek second ruko! cup kahan leke ja raho ho? (Wait a second! Where are you taking the cup?)." The idea to pun on the word "cup" was to refer to the coveted trophy.
A slew of reactions soon followed on Twitter with many voicing their strong opinions.
India and Pakistan are not only competing on the cricket field but also in the world of advertisements. Which match promo is more cringeworthy out of these two? #Poll— Jaideep Vaidya (@jaideepjourno) June 11, 2019
Pakistan: https://t.co/6rBxAEVDS0#CWC19 #StarSports #JazzTV
This shameful advertisement by #JazzTV is racist, and should be banned and reported.— Muhammad Sabir (@slumdog_nomad) June 11, 2019
Human dignity is above all. Even though that human happens to be your enemy.
Warriors treat fellow warriors with respect,... https://t.co/c4H0Kdnhxx
Overwhelmed by the insane maturity shown by Jazz TV. IAF pilot Abhinandhan Varthaman being mocked. Remembering the incident when foreigners trolled Pak Skipper Sarfaraz for wearing traditional attire for meeting the Queen & Indian fans coming for his rescue.#CWC19 #jazztv shame.— Abhijith S (@Abhijit12566565) June 11, 2019
To folks offended by Pakistan’s #JazzTV World Cup adv. involving #Abhinandan lookalike, I say this - we ran “Mauka Mauka” and “ Baap Baap hota hai”. Let them too have their fun. Can’t keep dishing out and call foul when they deliver a good one!— santosh chavan (@schavan84) June 12, 2019
#JazzTV, you mocked #Abhinandan but your team wil be the butt of all jokes after the 16th.. wait and watch .. Pak has never beaten India in the worldcup and the history will repeat again!! #IndianCricketTeam. #CWC19— Vikas Awasthi (@VikasNZ) June 12, 2019
Meanwhile, in India, Star Sports has been playing an ad which shows a Bangladesh sportsman telling his Pakistani counterpart that Pakistan will be 7th time lucky when they take on India on Sunday. This is in reference to the fact that Pakistan has never beaten India in their six previous World Cup meetings. The ad also mentions ‘abbu’, as June 16 when the two teams meet, happens to be Father’s Day.
“Those who give their best never fail and one day we will succeed. This is what ‘abbu’ used to say,” the Pakistani sportsman can be seen saying. Just then, the Indian sportsman butts in and says, “When did I say that?"
India would be aiming to avenge the loss of the 2017 Champions Trophy final, when the two sides meet on June 16 at Old Trafford, Manchester.
However, in World Cups, India have an excellent record against Pakistan as they have won all the six games they have played so far against the 1992 champions.
With IANS inputs