China comes to Pakistan rescue as India ups ante

Posted on Oct 18 2016 - 10:00am
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Brazil’s President Michel Temer, left, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, second left, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, China’s President Xi Jingping and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma applaud as BRICS member countries’ ministers (front) pose with an agreement during the concluding session of the BRICS summit at Taj Exotica hotel in Goa on Sunday. — AFP

BEIJING — China sprang to long-time ally Pakistan’s defense on Monday after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi branded Pakistan a “mother ship of terrorism” at a summit of BRICS nations.

Modi’s remarks to a meeting of leaders from BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — escalated his diplomatic drive to isolate Pakistan, which India accuses of sponsoring cross-border terrorism.

Tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors have been running high since a Sept. 18 attack on an army base in Kashmir, near the disputed frontier with Pakistan, killed 19 Indian soldiers in the worst such assault in 14 years.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, asked about Modi’s comments, said China opposed all forms of terrorism and that the international community should increase counterterrorism cooperation.

“We also oppose the linking of terrorism to any specific country, ethnicity or religion. This is China’s consistent position,” she told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

“Everyone knows that India and Pakistan are victims of terrorism. Pakistan has made huge efforts and great sacrifices in fighting terrorism. I think the international community should respect this,” Hua added.

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China and Pakistan consider each other “all-weather friends” and have close diplomatic, economic and security ties.

Meanwhile in another development, an Indian film festival dropped a Pakistani drama from its program on Monday after protesters threatened to disrupt the screening — the latest movie to fall foul of heightened tensions between the neighbors.

Organizers of the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival said they would not show the 1959 classic “Jago Hua Savera” (“The Day Shall Dawn”) following a complaint from an Indian NGO called Sangharsh, which means struggle in Hindi.

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Sangharsh had said it was inappropriate to show the film, which was Pakistan’s official Oscars entry in 1960, following an attack by militants that killed 19 Indian soldiers in Kashmir.

“Given the current situation, the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star has decided not to program ‘Jago Hua Savera’ as part of the Restored Classics Section,” organizers of the festival said in a statement.

The move comes after a group of Indian cinemas said last week that they would not screen any films featuring Pakistani artists in protest at the raid on an army base in Indian Kashmir last month.

The ban by India’s Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association (COEA) applies to single screen cinemas in four states and is likely to affect the forthcoming release of movies “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,” “Dear Zindagi” and “Raees.”

The ban came as Hindu nationalist groups pile pressure on the makers of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” (“This Heart is Complicated”) to drop Pakistani actor Fawad Khan from the romantic drama.

The fringe but noisy right-wing group Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has threatened to stall the Oct. 28 release of the movie.

Earlier, the Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association, which represents a number of Hindi film industry employees, passed a motion banning Pakistani artists until relations between New Delhi and Islamabad improve.

MAMI runs from Oct. 20-27. “Jago Hua Savera,” a black and white film, tells the story of a fishing village near Dhaka, now the capital of Bangladesh. — Agencies

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China comes to Pakistan rescue as India ups ante was last modified: October 18th, 2016 by greendecker

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