Musharraf said Kashmiris’ first choice is independence, he was right: Congress’ Soz

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Veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister Saifuddin Soz on Friday, said that former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was right that Kashmiris wanted independence over joining Pakistan, reported ANI.

Soz, who was a Union minister in the first Congress-led UPA government, has reportedly expanded on this them in his soon-to-be-released book, ‘Kashmir: Glimpses of History and the Story of Struggle’, which is due to be released next week.

In his book, Soz reportedly also goes on to criticise how successive Indian governments in New Delhi have committed ‘blunders’ which have resulted in alienating Kashmir from India.

Soz has stoked a controversy by claiming that people of Kashmir prefer “independence” and pitched for dialogue between the central government and the Hurriyat Conference. He also made a startling claim that successive central governments since 1953 has alienated Kashmiris from India’s heartland and committed “blunders”.

Notably, during this period Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi were the Prime Ministers. “And, if the Union of India has to talk to the people of Kashmir, it will have to decide the grouping with which it will initiate the dialogue. In my opinion, it is the political conglomerate called the Hurriyat. Then, the ball will certainly move to what is broadly known as the ‘mainstream’,” Soz writes in a book published by Rupa Publications.

According to a report in the Indian Express, Soz writes in his book that governments since 1953 have failed to provide a concrete solution to the Kashmir issue.

In 2008, Soz was named Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee chief. A former National Conference leader, he joined the Congress in 1999 after he voted against the motion of confidence moved by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the Lok Sabha on April 17, 1999.

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