Srinagar: Facing criticism for his reported “independent Kashmir” remark, former Union minister and senior Congress leader, Prof. Saifuddin Soz, on Sunday said that he had merely quoted former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf who had also said that it was not possible to grant independence to Jammu and Kashmir.
He accused the BJP of distorting his statement to launch a campaign of vilification against him and the Congress party.
“The views which I have expressed in my book are my own and these have nothing to do with the Congress party,” he said.
In a signed statement issued here, Mr. Soz said that his memoir Kashmir: Glimpses of History and The Story of Struggle was already in public domain. “However, the vested interests particularly the BJP are distorting the fact,” he alleged.
Elaborating, he said that he has merely explained how, the then President of Pakistan Mr. Musharraf had told the Army and political class of his country that even though, Kashmiris would want independence, it was not possible at all.
“He (Musharraf) had, therefore, mooted his famous formula of peace and dignity with India,” he said.
“He stressed the fact that the two closest neighbours (nuclear powers), could never settle the problem on Kashmir through war and, therefore, his formula that envisaged no change in borders and free movement among five erstwhile regions of the Jammu and Kashmir State (three regions with India and two regions with Pakistan) was explained in a ‘Non-Paper’ still available with two countries,” Mr. Soz said in a statement said.
It added, “My book suggests emphatically that the two closest neighbours and two full-fledged nuclear powers cannot live in perpetual animosity and, therefore, have to forge an abiding friendship and good neighbourly relations”. He said that as for today’s Kashmir, he would like to emphasise that no amount of repression through force can settle the issue. “The only course available is a meaningful political dialogue, preferably to be initiated with the Hurriyat Conference”.
Congress leader Saifuddin Soz added, “It is then, that the dialogue process will move to the mainstream”.
He asked, “What is wrong in it, when NDA government is also doing the same in their own manner?”
He accused the BJP of being “dead-set” to distort his views “as they are organising a debate on communal lines with their eyes on general election-2019”.
He reiterated that the things written in the book is based on his own viewpoint and has nothing to do with the Congress party.