Little did Pakistani cricketer Imamul Haq know that his innocuous photo with skipper Babar Azam sipping Hyderabadi ‘chai’ would leave India’s right-wing brigade seething.
This was Imamul Haq took to social media to post a photo of himself with Babr and teammates Abrar Ahmed and Zaman Khan. In the photo, three of the four players could be seen posing with a cup of team in their hands. Babar, in particular’ was seen sipping from his cup.
Imamul Haq wrote, “Hyderabad, chai and us ☕️💯 @babarazam @abrarahmedpak01 @real_zamankhan #CWC23.”
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Although Haq posted the photo immediately after arriving in Hyderabad a few days ago, the photo has prompted right-wing supporters to attack the Pakistani cricketer. According to Hindutva supporters, Haq has taken a jibe at India by using ‘chai’ as a slur in reference to the capture of an Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan, by the Pakistani army in February 2019.
Reacting to Haq’s social media post, one user wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Pakistanis use this “chai” thing as a slur to mock Wing-Commander Abhinandan & Bharat. We invited these clowns for this? @BCCI.” Another commented, “These beggars do not desist from showing their status and beggarhood.” “You need to tag @JayShah who is a Secretary of BCCI & son of HM Amit Shah ji,” suggested another user.
Pakistan have not travelled to India in a long time, particularly after Narendra Modi became India’s prime minister in 2014. The BJP government headed by Modi has refused to play any bilateral series against Pakistan in India or in the neighbouring country.
The tension between the two countries reached a new peak in February 2019 when Indian fighter jets entered Pakistani territory. One of the jets was brought down by the Pakistani military, which captured the pilot, Wing Cmr Abhinandan Varthaman, and shared the video of him sipping a cup of tea in captivity. Since then, many Pakistanis have been seen embarrassing their Indian counterparts by the ‘tea’ jibe.