Written byShalini Ojha
Congress leader Saifuddin Soz's book has sparked a controversy of sorts in which he backed former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf's views that Kashmiris would prefer independence, if given a chance.
Soz, who was a Union Minister in UPA-1, made these remarks in his book, 'Kashmir: Glimpses of History and the Story of Struggle', that is scheduled for launch next week.
His comments received flak.
"Musharraf said Kashmiris don't want to merge with Pakistan, their first choice is independence. The statement was true then and remains true now also. I say the same but I know that it is not possible," Soz told ANI.
Soz stressed on a Musharraf-Vajpayee-Manmohan formula. He wrote somehow Musharraf convinced people inside and outside the government that Kashmir's independence is the only solution.
"He (Musharraf) had also convinced his colleagues that the resolutions of the UN on Kashmir had constituted a redundant situation as these meant a tight-jacket for Kashmiris whether they wanted to go with India or to Pakistan," he added.
In his book, Soz claimed successive Indian governments have ruined Kashmir, and even criticized first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru.
"Nehru had realized that India's policy had gone wrong in Kashmir and it was the greatest blunder committed by the Government of India to have dismissed and arrested the Sheikh unconstitutionally," he wrote in the book.
He added India never learnt from the mistake.
As central minister he (Saifuddin Soz) benefited from Centre's power when his daughter was kidnapped by JKLF. There's no use helping these ppl. Whoever wants to stay here can stay abiding by the Constitution,if they like Musharraf we'll give them a one-way ticket(to Pak): S.Swamy pic.twitter.com/2CsQZ0x21L— ANI (@ANI) June 22, 2018
Notably, Soz is not new to controversies.
In 2017, as the Valley was burning after Hizbul chief Burhan Wani's death, Soz said he would have kept the terrorist alive for a dialogue.
The same year, at an event Soz claimed, "The current problem in Kashmir is created by India, not by Pakistan."
Congress is yet to react on this statement.
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