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Why did Pizza Hut, KFC, KIA and Hyundai’s Indian branches apologise for Tweets on Kashmir Solidarity Day?

The firms were accused of interfering in regional geopolitics on a partisan basis.

South Korean automakers Kia Motors and Hyundai, as well as quick-service restaurants KFC and Pizza Hut’s Indian affiliates, apologised for tweets made by these companies’ Pakistani affiliates on Kashmir Solidarity Day, which is commemorated in Pakistan every year on February 5.

On the same day, KFC Pakistan tweeted a banner with the words “Kashmir Belongs To The Kashmiris.”

“We Stand With You,” said an image posted on Instagram by an unidentified Pizza Hut Pakistan handle.

“This Kashmir Solidarity Day, let’s link hands and stand united for the freedom of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters…” said the caption, according to screenshots posted by various Twitter users.

Hyundai and Kia Motors have made statements along the same lines.

The firms were accused of interfering in regional geopolitics on a partisan basis. Users on Twitter also advocated for a boycott of their products.

Hyundai’s Indian arm issued an apology on Monday. On Tuesday, the automaker issued a separate statement explaining that its Pakistani independent distributor made “unauthorised Kashmir-related social media posts from their accounts.”

It went on to say that the post had been taken down. Hyundai Motor India is also not affiliated with the distributor in Pakistan, according to the business.

“We strongly disapprove the distributor’s unauthorised non-business-related social media behaviour,” Hyundai India said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal told Parliament that the South Korean automaker has been ordered to “be more emphatic” in their “unambiguous apology.” Priyanka Chaturvedi, a Shiv Sena Member of Parliament (MP), has also raised the issue.

On Monday, KFC India and Pizza Hut both apologised. “We honour and respect India, and remain steadfast in our commitment to serving all Indians with pride,” the company said in a tweet.

Aqsa Younas
Aqsa Younas
Journalist, columnist and research analyst.
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