A Pakistani singer has accused the local wildlife protection agency of doing Indian PM Narendra Modi’s bidding after a video of her posing with giant snakes and promising to set them on Modi landed her in legal trouble.
Rabi Pirzada, a Pakistani pop singer and TV host, faces a fine and up to two years in jail after a clip of her cuddling a giant snake while denouncing New Delhi for revoking Kashmir’s autonomy gained traction online.
In the video, which was originally posted on the singer’s YouTube channel on September 2 and later picked up by local TV, Pirzada berates Modi for “harassing Kashmiris” and says her reptile friends will be special “gifts” for him.
“See what I have prepared for you. So get ready to die in hell. Okay? And these friends of mine will feast on you,” the singer says in the clip before introducing her menacing-looking friends, including an alligator.
The video, which was allegedly filmed in the singer’s beauty salon in Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province, has since racked up almost 100,000 views, making headlines in both Indian and Pakistani media.
However, it was not until this week that the Punjab Wildlife Protection and Parks Department launched an inquiry into the starlet for keeping exotic animals – including pythons and an alligator – at her salon.
The Pakistani Wildlife Act prohibits keeping animals like these as pets, Wildlife Protection official Sohail Ashraf said, as quoted by Pakistan’s News International, adding that no permit exists that could be obtained to legalize their ownership. The official said that Pirzada is now looking at up to two years in jail for violating the law, adding that legal proceedings were launched after she repeatedly flaunted exotic animals on social media and her infamous clip was aired on TV.
However, the singer herself insists that it was her anti-Modi rant, not her affection for reptiles, that got her into trouble.
There are several videos of Pirzada playing with snakes on her YouTube channel, including a two-month old clip called ‘snake charmer’. Pirzada claims that she has always been fascinated with snakes, which are “better than so many friends who are there to betray you.” The authorities are now trying to locate the animals, as the singer reportedly directed them to the wrong address. Once recovered, they will be handed over to local zoos, officials said.