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Pak endorses billboards on Kashmir at New York's Times Square

Billboard on Kashmir at Times Square Photograph:( WION )

WION Times Square, New York, United States Sep 27, 2019, 02.21 PM (IST)

A desperate Pakistan already plagued by acute financial crisis has been spending millions of dollars to further its propaganda on Jammu and Kashmir at Times Square in New York.

Huge billboards in New York are often used for political advertising and campaigning. WION's Executive Editor Palki Sharma Upadhyay reports on how Pakistan used one such space at Times Square to politicise and internationalise the Kashmir issue. 

One of the quintessential features of New York's Times Square are the gigantic billboards. Neon, digital signs deck all the buildings and advertisements appear on almost everything from products, movies and with political advertisements also visible on several occasions. 

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One such campaign on Kashmir was spotted on one of the buildings. "Stand with Kashmir", it said. 

"This is a motivated, political campaign sponsored by, it would be fair to say, the Pakistan government as they have tweeted about it with this picture saying that they are raising awareness," Upadhyay reported from New York.

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Interestingly, real estate in New York, especially at Times Square is extremely expensive and it can reportedly cost anywhere up to $1-4 million per year to advertise on one billboard at Times Square. 

WION's diplomatic correspondent Sidhant Sibal, meanwhile, reported trucks being stationed in New York, highlighting human rights abuses in Karachi. 

"Not just this, across New York City, there have been banners on human rights violations in Pakistan's Balochistan, Karachi," Sibal said in his ground report from New York.

Meanwhile, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi evaded questions on Pakistan's support to terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed. Right outside the venue of SAARC foreign minister's meeting, Sidhant Sibal asked Qureshi why Pakistan has been supporting Saaed, however, the Pakistan finance minister evaded WION's question. 

Amid the advertising slugfest at Times Square, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will be addressing the UNGA today. In the week-long visit to the US, while the agenda for PM Modi at the UNGA has been diverse focusing on trade and investment, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has been adamant on just one agenda - Kashmir.