October 2019 News

Hours Before Xi Lands In India, Imran Khan Compares Kashmir Clampdown To Hong Kong Protests

11 October 2019

New Delhi: Hours before Chinese President Xi Jinping lands in Chennai for a two-day informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistan premier Imran Khan has once again raised the Kashmir issue, which has been a source of disagreement between Beijing and New Delhi. In a tweet, the Pakistan Prime Minister asked why the international media has been ignoring the 'dire human rights crisis' in Kashmir when it has been giving headline coverage to the pro-democracy Hong Kong protests. He also reiterated the claims he had made in his United Nations General Assembly address, that the 'disputed territory' has been 'illegally annexed by India with 900 thousand troops imposing a siege on eight million Kashmiris.' Calling it a growing humanitarian crisis, Khan added that there has been a complete blackout of communications in Kashmir for over two months and thousands have been imprisoned, including entire spectrum of political leadership. The reference to Hong Kong, however, is unlikely to please China, which has completely snubbed any criticism of its clampdown and made critics bend to its will. Anti-government protests have rocked the city for four months now as what started as a stir against a now withdrawn extradition bill have since morphed into protests against what Hong Kongers see as Beijing's increasing influence on the territory. Khan had two days ago met the Chinese President in Beijing, where Xi had sent a clear message that China continues to support Islamabad's claims on Kashmir. In a statement, China said the Kashmir issue should be peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements, drawing a sharp reaction from India as officials said it is not for other countries to comment on its internal affairs. The Kashmir issue could be a major sticking during the India-China talks over the next two days that will focus on trade and border issues as both sides have diagrammatically opposing views. Government sources told News18 PM Modi will not raise the issue of abrogation of Article 370 since it is an internal matter of India and a sovereign decision. However, in case President Xi wants more clarity regarding the same, the matter could be taken up.