New Delhi, June 22: Days after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) snapped ties with Mehbooba Mufti‘s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir, Congress veteran and former Union Minister Saifuddin Soz asserted that if Kashmiris are given a chance today to exercise their free will, they would prefer to be independent. In his forthcoming book, ‘Kashmir: Glimpses of History and the Story of Struggle’, which will be launched next week, Soz said,”Musharraf had explained that if Kashmiris were given a chance to exercise their free will, they would prefer to be independent. In fact, this assessment of Musharraf seems to be correct even today!”Also Read - Is Assam Govt Imposing Lockdown Again? CM Himanta Biswa Sarma Clears Air, Makes THIS Statement
The Congress leader claimed that the then Pakistan president had shared this view with his top colleagues (both in the army and outside) in the Pakistani establishment in 2007, when Manmohan Singh was preparing to visit Islamabad for a decisive summit with him. Also Read - Petrol, Diesel Prices Surge to Record-High Levels, Costs 33% More Than Aviation Fuel | Check City-Wise Rates
“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,”the Congress leader claimed. Also Read - TMC MP Sushmita Dev's Convoy Vandalised in Tripura, Party Alleges BJP Behind Attack
However, this is not the first time Saifuddin Soz had said something controversial like this. Last year, he had courted controversy by saying that he would have held a dialogue with Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani if he was not killed by security forces in 2016.
While talking to a TV news channel, Soz had said,”Burhani Wani should have stayed alive so that I could have had a dialogue with him. I would have explained to him that Kashmir can become a strong bridge of friendship between India and Pakistan and he (Wani) could also be of help (in achieving it). But he is dead now.”