Global quick service restaurant brands, including Domino's, KFC and Pizza Hut have issued separate statements, apologising for social media posts published by their Pakistan-based affiliates on Kashmir's "struggle for freedom".

While Domino's India said it regrets the "unsolicited social media post" published on handles outside the country, rival Pizza Hut's local unit said it "does not condone, support or agree" with the contents of the post.

KFC India too apologised for the social media post. US-based QSR giant Yum! Brands owns KFC and Pizza Hut.

This comes as India's Ministry of External Affairs summoned the ambassador of the Republic of Korea on Monday to express the government's "strong displeasure" on the "unacceptable" social media post by Hyundai Pakistan.

The South Korean carmaker was the first to face a backlash in India after a tweet from the official account of its partner in Pakistan supported "freedom" for Kashmir.

"We had seen a social media post on the so called Kashmir Solidarity Day was made by Hyundai Pakistan. Immediately after this social media post on Sunday, 6th February 2022, our Ambassador in Seoul contacted the Hyundai headquarters and sought an explanation," says MEA, adding that this matter concerned India’s territorial integrity on which there could be no compromise. "We expected the company to take appropriate action to properly address these issues."

"India welcomes investments by foreign companies in various sectors. But, it is also expected that such companies or their affiliates will refrain from false and misleading comments on matters of sovereignty and territorial integrity," the foreign ministry says.

Earlier on Tuesday, Hyundai India issued its second statement on the row on microblogging platform Twitter after the first one seemingly failed to pacify netizens.

"As a business policy, Hyundai Motor Company does not comment on political or religious issues in any specific region. Therefore, it is clearly against Hyundai Motor's policy that the independently-owned distributor in Pakistan made unauthorised Kashmir-related social media posts from their own accounts," the South Korean carmaker says.

"We deeply regret any offense caused to the people of India by this unofficial social media activity," it adds.

The automaker, which is the second largest carmaker in India after market leader Maruti Suzuki, had earlier drawn flak from social media users who said that the first statement issued by Hyundai Motor India after the incident did not offer any apology.

Hyundai India sold 35,140 passenger vehicles in January 2022 compared with 49,364 units in the year-ago period, according to data released by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA). The company's market share stood at 13.6% in January 2022 compared with 17.17% in January 2021.

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