Pakistan’s WC ad featuring Abhinandan leaves Indians fuming

Tribune Web Desk 
Chandigarh, June 11 

A Pakistani advertisement on World Cup 2019 that features a look-alike of IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has not gone down well with the Indian Twitterati. 

The 33-second advertisement shown on Pakistan’s Jazz Tv channel shows Abhinandan’s look-alike sipping tea. The advertisement revolves around the IAF pilot, who was held in captivity with Pakistani authorities, after his MiG-21 Bison was downed during an aerial dogfight on February 27, after the Balakot airstrike.

In the video that was released by the authorities—which later went viral—one could hear Varthaman saying: “I’m sorry, I am not supposed to tell you this” to the questions asked to him during captivity.

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 now-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.

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.

While the advertisement created a buzz earlier, this time it seems it hasn’t got down well with both sets of supporters.

Several people called the act “cheap” and “shameful”.

India have defeated Pakistan six times in the World Cup starting from the 1992 edition and then in 1996, 1999, 2003, 2011 and 2015.

The excitement to see the two countries on the field is already at its peak. The Indian cricket team is scheduled to play against Pakistan on June 16 at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester.

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