Prime Minister Imran Khan raised objection over the apathy of the international media when it comes to giving coverage to the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir.
He said the Kashmir crisis was continuously being ignored, while the protests in Hong Kong made headlines every day.
“I am puzzled as to how international media continues to give headline coverage to Hong Kong protests but ignores the dire human rights crisis in Kashmir,” the prime minister said.
“I want to highlight the issue of double standards as Kashmir is not a part of India and Hong Kong is a part of China but the proportion of coverage of the Kashmiri people is very less as compared to the issue of Hong Kong,” he said.
He was addressing the participants of a human chain formed in Islamabad today (Friday) to express solidarity with Kashmiris.
The chain was formed at the Convention Centre to D-Chowk at 3:30 pm, according to the Information Ministry. The premier addressed the participants at D-Chowk.
Imran Khan said that Kashmir was an internationally recognised disputed territory which was illegally annexed by India with 900,000 troops imposing a siege on eight million Kashmiris.
PM Khan said that Modi had “played his last card” by downgrading the autonomy of occupied Kashmir, stressing that the residents of the disputed region will not accept the decision.
PM Khan, who returned this week from a trip to Beijing, also told a crowd of roughly 300 people in Islamabad that Hong Kong “is a part of China, but this [Kashmir] is a disputed territory”.
“The story of barbarism [in Kashmir] hardly gets reported in international media,” PM Khan said. “So I want to put this double standard in front of the world.”
Hong Kong has been battered by 18 consecutive weekends of unrest, fanned by widespread public anger over Chinese rule and the police response to protests, while for more than two months now Indian-held Kashmir has been under a security lockdown after New Delhi scrapped the region’s semi-autonomous status.
“I regret that the world only sees that [India] is a country with one billion [people], so they can trade and make money from them, and money is more important for these countries then humans,” he said.
Pakistan calls China, which has invested billions in the country, its “all-weather friend”. Chinese state media has repeatedly warned foreign firms that voicing support for Hong Kong protesters could cost them access to China’s market of 1.4 billion people, with the NBA the latest to be targeted.
China has also defied escalating global criticism over its treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang province, where rights groups say one million people have been put in re-education camps.
Pakistan, which borders Xinjiang, has shrugged at the accusations. “Frankly, I don’t know much about that,” PM Khan had told the Financial Times in March.
On August 5, India repealed articles 35A and 370 of its constitution, revoking special status granted to Indian-Administered Kashmir.