Romney concedes defeat in White House race

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Updated 07 November 2012

Romney concedes defeat in White House race

BOSTON, Massachusetts: Republican challenger Mitt Romney conceded defeat in the US election early Wednesday, telling supporters that he had called President Barack Obama to congratulate him on his victory.
“His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations,” Romney said in a brief address at his election watch party in Boston.
“I wish all of them well but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.”
It was a quick, underwhelming end to an 18-month campaign that began on a farm in New Hampshire, survived brutal Republican infighting during the party primaries early this year and a barrage of negative attack ads by the Obama camp, and rose to give the incumbent a serious scare weeks before the election.
Romney was neck-and-neck with the president for a considerable part of the campaign, but despite repeated trips to swing states like Colorado, Ohio, Florida, and Virginia, Obama held on to leads in the battlegrounds, which eventually became the challenger’s undoing.
As of 0700 GMT Wednesday, Obama won 303 electoral votes, compared to 203 for Romney, with only key battleground of Florida outstanding. Two hundred seventy are needed to with the White House.
“This election is over, but our principles endure,” said Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts who said he believed smaller government, limited regulations and lower taxes could create more jobs and bring a speedier economic recovery.
“I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader, and so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and this great nation,” Romney said to cheers and applause.
Several members of Romney’s senior staff stood next to the stage, many stone-faced and somber, as the Republican nominee addressed his supporters.
Romney returned to a theme that he began injecting into his stump speeches in the closing two weeks of the campaign: the need for greater bipartisanship in Washington.
“At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and posturing,” he said.
“Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work and we citizens have to rise to the occasion.”
Romney also thanked his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, as well as wife Ann Romney, his tireless surrogate on the campaign trail whom he called “the love of my life.”
“She would have been a wonderful first lady,” he mused, to loud applause.
Romney’s comments were brief and basic, and it was not immediately clear if he had written a concession speech.
Earlier in the day, when asked by reporters on his campaign plane whether he had two speeches ready to go for Tuesday night, he said he was confident of defeating Obama and had penned an 1,118-word victory speech.
After stepping back from the podium, Romney turned around and kissed his wife, gave Ryan a handshake and a hug, and then stepped into the embrace of his family.


Pakistan PM Khan slams ‘oppressor’ India on Kashmir anniversary

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.