INDIA: Every year on February 5, Pakistan observes Kashmir solidarity day. Several companies operating in the country posted tweets expressing their support for the day.
The companies also have a presence in India, where Kashmir has always been an integral part of the country. A backlash ensued, with several Twitter users criticizing the various brands and demanding an apology.
The incident was escalated to Indian authorities, and the brands were summoned to explain their actions, which have harmed Indian sentiments regarding Kashmir.
Almost every brand has deleted the social media posts and apologised, claiming that they were done by local distributors and that the brands do not believe in such ideology.
KFC, Domino’s Pizza, and Honda, a Japanese automaker, have all apologised for offending Indians with social media posts from business associates in Pakistan who support separatists in Kashmir.
“We are here to safeguard its legacy in perpetuity. We value and respect everything the country has to offer, ” said the pizza chain.
It went on to say, “We regret and apologise for the unsolicited social media post published on Domino’s social media handles outside the country.”
The statement further said, “As a brand, we honour and respect India and remain deeply committed to serving our customers and communities with humility, gratitude, and pride.”
Similarly, Honda Motor Company Ltd, the company’s parent company, said in a statement posted on Honda Cars India’s Twitter account, “Honda is deeply committed to ensuring compliance with laws and sentiments of every country it operates in. Any hurt caused to this effect is regretted.”
As part of its policy, Honda stated that it “strives to ensure that in any part of the world where it is present, it avoids comment on race, politics, religion, and social issues.”
“Any statement to the contrary by any associate, dealer, or stakeholder is not in line with its policy,” it added.
Following a backlash in India, these companies join the likes of Hyundai, Suzuki, Toyota, and Pizza Hut in apologizing for social media posts by their business associates in Pakistan supporting Kashmir Solidarity Day, and calling for a boycott of their products.
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