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.


Pakistan police arrest son-in-law of former premier Nawaz Sharif

Updated 42 sec ago

Pakistan police arrest son-in-law of former premier Nawaz Sharif

  • Police detain Mohammad Safdar at a Karachi hotel room where he is staying with his wife Maryam Nawaz

KARACHI: Pakistani police arrested the son-in-law of the country’s exiled former Nawaz Sharif on Monday after he led a crowd in chanting against the military at the tomb of the country’s founder.
The arrest of Mohammad Safdar comes as Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League party has joined a series of nationwide protests against the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Police detained Safdar at a Karachi hotel room where he was staying with his wife Maryam Nawaz, who addressed a large anti-government rally Sunday.
Safdar on Sunday had visited the mausoleum of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who led independence movement to get a separate homeland from Britain in 1947 when united India was divided into two countries: India and Pakistan. Jinnah remains a revered figure in Muslim-majority Pakistan, with his tomb often drawing politicians and leaders.
While at the tomb, Safdar led a crowd in chanting: “Give respect to the vote!” That slogan is viewed in Pakistan as criticism of the country’s military, which ruled the country of 220 million people — directly or indirectly — for most of its history.
Chanting political slogans at Jinnah’s tomb is widely considered taboo. Police say they arrested Safdar, himself a member of the Pakistan Muslim League party, after receiving a complaint from a citizen alleging he was harassed.
The 70-year-old Sharif who has had a long uneasy relationship with the military, served as Pakistan’s prime minister three times. A court in 2017 ousted him from power over corruption allegations. Sharif has been staying in London since November after being allowed to receive medical treatment abroad.
Several opposition leaders have faced criminal charges in recent weeks as organized opposition to Khan, a former cricketer, grows.