New Delhi, June 22: Former Union Minister and Congress leader Saifuddin Soz claimed that Kashmiris would prefer to be independent rather than merging with Pakistan if allowed to exercise ‘free will’.
He has put up an argument in his upcoming book that former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s assessment over a decade ago that Kashmiris will “prefer to be independent” if they are given a chance to “exercise their free will” seems to be “correct even today”.
Soz said, “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.”
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: Saifuddin Soz, Congress pic.twitter.com/pmtWIxhN16
— ANI (@ANI) June 22, 2018
Soz said the government “should have realized much earlier that it was wrong for it to dilute the autonomy that was enshrined in Article 370 of the Constitution of India and the Delhi Agreement of 1952 .
Congress veteran Saifuddin Soz in his book Kashmir: Glimpses of History and the Story of Struggle, has reportedly stated that central government should first open dialogue with the Hurriyat Conference before moving to mainstream parties to find a solution to the Kashmir issue.
The book will be released next week.