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Hyundai suffers backlash in India after Pakistani partner expresses solidarity with people of IoK

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor faced calls on Monday for a boycott of its cars from Indians incensed over a tweet from the account of its Pakistan partner that expressed solidarity with the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

The row erupted on Sunday, a day after Pakistan marked the annual Kashmir Solidarity Day and the posts on behalf of Hyundai’s partner Nishat Group appeared on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram commemorating the sacrifices of Kashmiris struggling for self-determination.

Hundreds of social media users in India backed calls for a boycott, saying Hyundai must apologise for being insensitive to India’s claim on the decades-old issue.

Dozens of Indians posted their intention to cancel orders for Hyundai cars in order to punish the company while urging support for homegrown brands like Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra.

Responding to the furore, Hyundai’s India unit said that it had a “zero tolerance policy towards insensitive communication and we strongly condemn any such view”.

“The unsolicited social media post linking Hyundai Motor India is offending our unparalleled commitment and service to this great country,” it said, adding that it stands firmly behind its “strong ethos of respecting nationalism”.

Hyundai is India’s second-largest car seller after Maruti Suzuki selling close to half a million vehicles in the country last fiscal year and exporting over a million units, making it India’s largest car exporter.

Ashwani Mahajan, an official at the economic wing of the powerful Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) group with close ties to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said Hyundai should clarify its position on IIOJK.

“While not criticising @HyundaiPakistan Indian arm of @Hyundai_Global is not even saying that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Speaks tons about their commitment to India. Doesn’t this call for #BoycottHyundai?”, he said.






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