A war museum in Pakistan Air Force has stooped to a new low by displaying a mannequin of Indian Air Force Wing Pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. And can you guess what's placed next to him on a glass shelf? Yes, a mug. No, we aren't kidding.
A photo of the mannequin was shared by political commentator and Pakistan journalist Anwar Lodhi who captioned his post, "PAF has put mannequin of Abhi Nandhan on display in the museum. This would be a more interesting display, if it they can arrange a Cup of FANTASTIC tea in his hand."
For those who haven't gotten the reference yet, a video that had been released by PAF in February showed Varthaman, holding a cup of tea in one hand, while refusing to divulge sensitive information to his captors. When asked, Varthaman had calmly replied in the video, "The tea is fantastic, thank you."
This clipping, which had quickly gone viral on social media, had become a symbol of bravery and courage in the face of imminent threat. However, in Pakistan, the scenario is slightly different. On countless occasions, Pakistani media and brands have used Abhinandan Varthaman and his cup of tea to troll him and IAF.
For instance, during the World Cup this year, Pakistan stirred up a controversy when they released an advertisement which featured Varthaman's lookalike holding a cup.
In the counter-attack to the Balakot strikes in February this year, pilot Abhinandan Varthaman's MiG 21 Bison was chasing a Pakistani fighter jet which had crossed over to this side. In the process, his jet crossed over to the Pakistani side where it was shot down. While Varthaman managed to eject safely, he was taken into custody by the PAF who held him captive before releasing him on March 1.