Congress leader Saifuddin Soz at the launch event of his book said that Sardar Vallabhai Patel had offered Kashmir to then Pakistan Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan but had told him not to ‘talk of Hyderabad’, news agency ANI reported.
“Sardar Patel was a pragmatist and offered Kashmir to Liaquat Ali Khan (then Pak PM). He told him ‘don’t talk of Hyderabad, talk Kashmir; take Kashmir but don’t talk of Hyderabad’ as Khan was preparing for war and Patel wasn’t,” he stated.
The book, ‘Kashmir: Glimpses of History and the Story of Struggle’ was launched on Monday and while talking about it, Soz said that Musharraf’s assessment of Kashmir was correct, even today.
“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,” he said.
Earlier, Soz had uttered similar words on February 10, 2018, saying that Sardar Patel had ‘consistently’ offered Kashmir to Pakistan, in response to Modi’s statement that ‘had Patel been the first Prime Minister of India, ‘entire Kashmir would have been ours.’
Soz had also said that, instead of Kashmir, Liaquat Ali Khan was ‘stubbornly obsessed’ with the imaginary idea of getting Hyderabad-Deccan.
Saifuddin Soz was recently caught in a controversy last week while stating that ‘Kashmir prefers to be independent’. In response, his party had distanced themselves from his remarks, with former PM Manmohan Singh skipping the launch of the book.
In an interview with the Quint, he said, “If you give Kashmir an option, they will say ‘azadi’. Azadi is not available. Azadi is not possible. So, I tell this government and India’s civil society, open a rigorous political dialogue with the angry people of Kashmir and then come to an acceptable mean. We come to the middle ground because when two parties in dispute start talking, they ultimately settle in the middle.”