Imran Khan blasts media's 'double standard' over Hong Kong protests

AFP Islamabad, Pakistan Oct 12, 2019, 10.06 PM(IST)

File photo: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Khan, who returned this week from a trip to Beijing, also told a crowd of roughly 300 people at a rally in Islamabad that Hong Kong 'is a part of China'

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan accused international media Friday of a "double standard", saying news outlets give more prominence to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong than to the situation in Kashmir.

Khan, who returned this week from a trip to Beijing, also told a crowd of roughly 300 people at a rally in Islamabad that Hong Kong "is a part of China".

Hong Kong has been battered by 18 consecutive weekends of unrest, fanned by widespread public anger over Chinese rule and the police response to protests.

Khan appeared to minimise the impact of the Hong Kong protests.

"As far as I know, till now only a few people have been injured, maybe two or three people have been killed due to accidents" in the strife-torn city, he said.

Hundreds have been wounded in the four months of clashes in Hong Kong. One death has been linked to the unrest, when a demonstrator protesting on the side of a building fell during a botched rescue attempt.

Khan, whose government has been criticised for shrinking press freedoms in recent months, also expressed his frustration with the global community, which has historically stayed out of Kashmir. 

"I regret that the world only sees that (India) is a country with one billion (people), so they can trade and make money from them, and money is more important for these countries then humans," he said.

Pakistan calls China, which has invested billions in the country, its "all-weather friend".

Chinese state media has repeatedly warned foreign firms that voicing support for Hong Kong protesters could cost them access to China's market of 1.4 billion people, with the NBA the latest to be targeted.

China has also defied escalating global criticism over its treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang province, where rights groups say one million people have been put in re-education camps.

Pakistan, which borders Xinjiang, has shrugged at the accusations. "Frankly, I don't know much about that," Khan told the Financial Times in March.