Pakistani leader denounces India over Kashmir

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 25 September 2020

Pakistani leader denounces India over Kashmir

  • Khan said Friday that Islamophobia prevails in India today and threatens the close to 200 million Muslims who live there
  • “They believe that India is exclusive to Hindus and others are not equal citizens,” Khan said

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has assailed India’s Hindu nationalist government and its moves to cement control of Muslim-majority Kashmir, calling India a state sponsor of hatred and prejudice against Islam.
Khan said Friday that Islamophobia prevails in India today and threatens the close to 200 million Muslims who live there.
“They believe that India is exclusive to Hindus and others are not equal citizens,” Khan said in a prerecorded speech to the UN General Assembly, which is being held virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Khan has frequently criticized the decision by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August 2019 to strip Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood, scrap its separate constitution and remove inherited protections on land and jobs. India’s security clampdown has sparked protests, and UN-appointed independent experts have called on the Indian government to take urgent action.
India accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgents fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India. Pakistan denies the charge and says it offers only diplomatic and moral support to the rebels.
The Kashmir region is split between India and Pakistan, which have fought two wars over the territory.
Khan, as he did in his speech before the world body last year, also condemned the targeting of Muslims in many countries and provocations and incitement “in the name of free speech.”
Despite Khan’s outcry at the treatment of Muslims worldwide, Pakistan has not criticized China’s assault on its Muslim minority Uighur population. Pakistan’s silence, like that of other influential Muslim nations, is linked to its economic ties to China. Pakistan is heavily indebted to China and the two countries have a long history of cooperation both economically and militarily.


Danish PM in tears after visiting mink farmer whose animals were culled

Updated 26 November 2020

Danish PM in tears after visiting mink farmer whose animals were culled

COPENHAGEN: Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen broke down on Thursday when visiting a mink farmer who lost his herd following the government’s order this month to cull all 17 million mink in the country to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Frederiksen has faced opposition calls to resign and a vote of no confidence in parliament after an order by the government in early November, which it later admitted was illegal, to cull the country’s entire mink population.
The order was given after authorities found COVID-19 outbreaks at hundreds of mink farms, including a new strain of the virus, suspected of being able to compromise the efficacy of vaccines.
“We have two generations of really skilled mink farmers, father and son, who in a very, very short time have had their life’s work shattered,” Frederiksen told reporters after a meeting with a mink farmer and his son at their farm near Kolding in Western Denmark.
“It has been emotional for them, and... Sorry. It has for me too,” Frederiksen said with a wavering voice, pausing for breath in between words.
The move to cull Denmark’s entire mink population, one of the world’s biggest and highly valued for the quality of its fur, has left the government reeling after it admitted it did not have the legal basis to order the culling of healthy mink.
After a tumultuous couple of weeks since the order was given on Nov. 4, the Minister of Agriculture, Mogens Jensen, stepped down last week after an internal investigation revealed a flawed political process.
Denmark has proposed a ban on all mink breeding in the country until 2022. Tage Pedersen, head of the Danish mink breeders’ association, said this month the industry, which employs around 6,000 people and exports fur pelts worth $800 million annually, is finished.
Denmark’s opposition says the cull of healthy mink should not have been initiated before compensation plans were in place for the owners and workers at some 1,100 mink farms.