Pakistan PM Khan slams ‘oppressor’ India on Kashmir anniversary

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the legislative assembly in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, August 5, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 05 August 2020

Pakistan PM Khan slams ‘oppressor’ India on Kashmir anniversary

  • Solidarity marches were held in all major Pakistani cities to mark the anniversary of New Delhi stripping Muslim-majority Indian Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status
  • Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan territory, has been split since 1947 between India and Pakistan, both of which claim it in full and have fought wars over it

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan branded India an “oppressor and aggressor” on Wednesday, a year after New Delhi imposed direct rule on Indian-administered Kashmir.
Solidarity marches were held in all major Pakistani cities to mark the anniversary of New Delhi stripping Muslim-majority Indian Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status, a move that outraged Islamabad.
Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan territory, has been split since 1947 between India and Pakistan, both of which claim it in full and have fought wars over it.
“India stands exposed before the world, yet again, as an oppressor and aggressor,” Khan said in a statement.
“Its so-called secular and democratic credentials stand fully discredited,” he added, calling India’s action last year a “crime against humanity.”
Khan led a march through Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered-Kashmir, before addressing the region’s legislative assembly.
Across the city, more than 2,000 people turned out at a series of anti-India protests.
“We ask the world to give Kashmiris their right of self-determination, otherwise we will cross the Line of Control and help our brothers on the other side with arms,,” Arslan Ahmad, a refugee who fled Indian-administered Kashmir, told AFP.
“Half of my family is under siege in Indian-occupied Kashmir, my mother is dying to meet her sister, this dispute has left our generations torn apart,” 31-year old Usman Mir added.
Police were enforcing tight restrictions in Indian-administered Kashmir on Wednesday, where religious and political groups had called on residents to observe a “black day.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government had promised the move would bring peace and prosperity to Indian Kashmir after three decades of violence sparked by an anti-India uprising.
Pakistan, however, has alleged it is a violation of the rights of Kashmiri people.
Khan accused India of trying to turn Kashmir’s Muslim majority into a minority by ending restrictions on outsiders buying up property “in blatant violation of... UN Security Council Resolutions and international laws.”
The change in rules has sparked fears that the Modi government is pursuing an Israel-style “settler” project.
A referendum in Kashmir mandated by a UN resolution in 1948 has never taken place.
“India has learned from Israel how to change the demography (of Kashmir),” President Arif Alvi told a rally in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, which observed a one-minute silence.
Hundreds of billboards and banners displayed graphic images purportedly of human rights violations by Indian authorities in Kashmir.
On Tuesday, Pakistan released a new official map showing all of Kashmir as its territory.
The Pakistan military, meanwhile, said Indian troops had fired a shell across the de-facto border, killing a young woman and wounding six other people.
Such exchanges are common along the Kashmir demarcation line, with shells blasted in both directions.


Philippine president Duterte calls out Facebook after ‘arbitrary shutdown’ of accounts

Updated 17 min 22 sec ago

Philippine president Duterte calls out Facebook after ‘arbitrary shutdown’ of accounts

  • ‘You know, Facebook, insurgency is about overturning government’
  • ‘What would be the point of allowing you to continue if you cannot help us?’

MANILA: President Rodrigo Duterte questioned why he should allow Facebook to continue operating in the Philippines after the social media giant removed accounts he said supported his government’s interests, including fighting insurgents.
Facebook said last week it had removed a Philippine network of fake accounts whose operators tried to conceal their identities and used “coordinated inauthentic behavior” to mislead people.
Duterte did not specify which Facebook accounts he meant. He said he had not thought of specific steps to take on the issue, though he sought a meeting with the American company in his televised remarks Monday night on a range of topics.
“You know, Facebook, insurgency is about overturning government,” Duterte said. “What would be the point of allowing you to continue if you cannot help us?”
“If you cannot help me protect government interest, then let us talk. We may or we may not find the solution. If we cannot, then I’m sorry,” Duterte said.
Facebook said in its announcement last week that its investigation into the fake, misleading content “found links to Philippine military and Philippine police” behind them.
The Philippine military and police, however, said none of their official Facebook accounts was removed.
Military chief of staff Gilbert Gapay said an account of a military-backed private group called “Hands Off Our Children,” which campaigns against recruitment of students and children by communist guerrillas, was removed, and he asked that the account be reinstated.
“Their grievances are legitimate, and their calls urgent,” Gapay said, adding that the “arbitrary shutdown” of the account undermined the efforts of a group of parents who were raising awareness of “the vulnerability of children at the hands of communist front organizations.”
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte was among those opposed to Facebook’s shutdown of the group’s account, which he said amounted to censorship.
“They may use as justification inauthentic behavior but the effect is censorship because the idea contained in that page was deleted,” Roque said, urging the group to bring the issue to court.
Asked if the Duterte administration agrees with the use of fake accounts to deliver a message to the public, Roque said the government is not aware of whether the accounts were fake and would not know how Facebook reached that conclusion.
There was no immediate comment from Facebook officials.