Rajat Sharma


AKB Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments in my ‘special election show’ about Pakistan’s atom bomb and ‘Chandrayaan’ have become the talk of the town on Pakistani social media websites. Clips from my ‘Salaam India’ show with Modi are trending on Pakistani social media sites, with their Youtubers garnering hits by inserting these Modi clips. In the show last week, when I asked Prime Minister Modi about Mani Shankar Aiyar saying that we in India must know that Pakistan has atom bombs, Modi replied sarcastically: “Who Taaqat Toh Main Khud Lahore Jaakar Check Karke Aaya Hoon. Main Bina Kisi Suraksha Jaanch ke Lahore mein Utara, Wahan par Ek Reporter Reporting Kar Raha Tha, ‘Hai Allah, Touba Touba, Who Bina Visa Kaise Aa Gaye? Main Bola, Yeh Mera Hi Desh Thaa Yaar, Kisi Zamaane mein” (I’ve myself gone to Pakistan and checked their power… I landed in Lahore without any security checks, and one of their TV reporters was saying Hai Allah, Touba, Modi has landed in Pakistan without any visa. Yes, this was in their live debates. Why can’t I go, after all Pakistan was part of our country at one time).

In the show, I asked Modi about Pakistanis saying that India’s Chandrayaan landing on the Moon was no big deal, because their own country resembles the Moon with full of potholes and without electricity. Modi replied: “For Pakistanis, Moon on their national flag is significant, but for me, hoisting our tricolour flag on the Moon is important.”

In several of the social media videos, Pakistani anchors were seen saying that they liked Modi’s “andaaz-e-bayaan” (style of presentation). Personally, I got a large number of messages and mails from Pakistan, with Pakistanis commenting on Modi’s performance in the election show.

Several Pakistanis said, what Modi said was factually correct: He did land in Lahore with his entourage of 120 people without any security checks or visas, Pakistan was certainly part of undivided British India, and Modi has shown Pakistanis a mirror, and they should not take offence. One interesting point to note is that Pakistan this month did send a small CubeSat satellite on China’s Change’-6 lunar mission, which took images of the far side of the Moon and collected magnetic field data, but the entire mission was choreographed and executed by Chinese space scientists.

In the social media videos, Pakistanis were seen asking why not a single Pakistani was shown sitting in the Space Mission Control Room. The moot point is, Pakistanis do admit that India has advanced at a tremendously fast pace during Modi’s 10-year-rule. Some of them even said that they wished they had a leader like Modi, because India has left Pakistan far behind in development. Most of the Pakistanis said they liked my mega-election show with Modi and watched the PM’s replies with eagerness. However, there are some points to note.

Rulers and politicians in Pakistan oppose Modi in public, but the general public in Pakistan adores Modi’s style of working. Pakistani leaders, notably ex-minister Fawad Chaudhry, praise Rahul Gandhi on social media, and pray that Congress returns to power in this election. But the general public in Pakistan have nothing to say about India’s opposition leaders. A few years ago, the late Pakistani journalist Tareq Fateh, who was living in exile in Canada, told me on ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ show that Pakistan’s atom bombs contain nothing but ‘faludaa’. The general Pakistani public makes fun of their rulers whenever the issue of Chandrayaan-3’s achievement comes up. They make jokes about their own rulers.

Get connected on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Comments are closed.