Islamabad, June 11, 2019:
An advertisement has been released in Pakistan which mocks Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan. The advertisement has been released ahead of the much-awaited World Cup clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan which is to be held on Sunday, June 16.
The distasteful and allegedly ‘racist’ advertisement has been lambasted by many on social media platforms after it went viral.
The ad which was released on Pakistan’s Jazz TV shows an actor who is made to look like Abhinandan with his trademark moustache and he is shown sipping tea and answering questions about the upcoming cricket match. To add insult to injury, the actor is also shown wearing the blur jersey of the Indian cricket team.
Jazz TV advt on #CWC19 takes the Indo-Pak air duel to new level. It uses the air duel over Nowshera and Wing Co Abhinandan Varthaman's issue as a prop. @IAF_MCC @thetribunechd @SpokespersonMoD @DefenceMinIndia pic.twitter.com/30v4H6MOpU
— Ajay Banerjee (@ajaynewsman) June 11, 2019
The ad has also been accused of having racist undertones as the actor had his face ‘blackened’ in a racist wink at the dark-ish complexion of the Chennai-born Abhinandan.
It may be mentioned that MiG-21 pilot Abhinandan was captured on February 27 as he averted Pakistani F16 jets’ intrusion into the Indian air space as they tried to target Indian military installations in the Rajouri sector of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). He was captured and interrogated by Pakistani armed forces, but was stoic in his replies. He became an overnight celebrity as all of India prayed for his safe return.
Abhinandan remained in the Pakistani military’s custody for 60 hours, but was eventually released as a “goodwill gesture” by the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Thousands of supporters greeted him at the border after he was released.
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