New Delhi: Are they comics? Are they poets? No, they are Pakistan’s TV news anchors, and they are finding new ways to tap the current spate of tensions with India for TRPs.
India and Pakistan are grappling with a particularly tense phase in bilateral ties in light of the 14 February Pulwama attack.
The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) has claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed 40 personnel of the CRPF.
India and Pakistan have since issued statements condemning each other. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to give Pakistan a “befitting reply”, and his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan has warned that his country will “not think twice” before retaliating.
In these troubled times, Pakistan’s TV news anchors are redefining journalism with their poetic jibes, offering a quick laugh on this side of the border, inflaming passions on that side, and stabbing media objectivity right through its heart.
ThePrint takes you through some recent examples of such “bulletins”.
— Kiran Naz (@kirannazsamaa) February 20, 2019
On Samaa TV, broadcast journalist Kiran Naz begins her scathing criticism of India with a rhyme: “Suna hai sarhadon par tanav hai, haan bharat mein chunaav hai (We have heard there’s tension on the border, yes, India’s headed for elections).”
Further on, she compares the killing of CRPF personnel to the sacrifice of goats, refers to Modi as a “chaiwala”, and calls Khan a “sensible, visionary” individual.
Then, seeking to warn India about the consequences of war, she announces, “Agar Pakistan ne jawab de diya toh ek tha Modi ya ek tha Bharat naa ho jaye … Ude toh the Pakistan ko sabak sikhane, par gir pade nalayak kahin ke (Retaliation by Pakistan may relegate India and Modi to history. Loafers who rose to teach Pakistan a lesson have fallen to the ground).”
लगता है मोहतरमा Terrorist ट्रेनिंग कैंप से सीधे न्यूज़ रूम पहुंची है!!😆😁😂pic.twitter.com/wbobNW1KSO
— Rishi Bagree 🇮🇳 (@rishibagree) February 20, 2019
The next video takes rhyming to a different level. Also on Samaa TV, anchor Paras Jahanzeb recites a two-minute-long poem criticising India.
“Modi sahab, aap ko lakh baar samjhaya hai, parr kab samjh mein aaya hai … harr baar aate ho, buri niyat laate ho, har baar peeth dikhate ho aur dum dabake ke bhaagte ho… (Modi sir, we’ve told one lakh times, but you’ve never understood. You come with bad intentions every time and run back scared),” she says.
“Lekin uss wakt se daro, yaad rakho … na maan hoga, na Hanuman, na hi koi Shaktiman… (Be scared of a time, when you won’t have respect, Hanuman, or Shaktiman),” the anchor adds.
When Indian media follows ur shows and my patriotic speech literally irritated them & forced them to make a package against me. Pakistan ZINDABAAD. Plz retweet my pakistanio💜💜 yeh cheez😊 #India #Pakistan #Pakistani #PakArmy #PakArmyOurPride #KashmirSolidarityDay #ModiSarkar pic.twitter.com/Xjc0WFJVv4
— Dr. Fiza Akbar Khan (@Dr_fizakhan) February 21, 2019
Then comes rabble-rouser extraordinaire Dr Fiza Akbar Khan of Kohinoor News.
In a recent video, she lashed out at India for criticising Pakistan’s role in sponsoring and harbouring terrorists, including 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed.
Before raising questions about Pakistan and its jihadi elements, she said, “first repair your toilets”, a purported dig at the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
She then says “Sharam tumko aati nahi (you don’t feel shame)”, before adding, “Shame on you, India”. Wagging her finger at the camera, she repeats the words five times.
In another video from September last year, she takes a jibe at Indian Army General Bipin Rawat’s hat.
Imagine her as your EX
— Opinionless Spirit (@OL_Spirit) September 29, 2018
“Filmo mein kaam karne ke chakkar mein shayaad aapne wo Kate Winslet ka hat le liya… (You probably bought Kate Winslet’s hat with dreams of a movie career),” she says.
Then, she borrows from Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to issue a warning to India.
“Koi mil gaya.. behki hai nigahein aur bikhre hai baal… tumne banaye hai kya apna yeh haal… kaun mil gaya?” she says, evoking the hit song, before adding with a smirk, “Pakistan mil gaya (You’ve found Pakistan).”
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