Musharraf had said Kashmiris first choice is Independence: Saifuddin Soz

Congress leader Saifuddin Soz today said that former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf was right when he said Kashmiris prefer independence to joining Pakistan, to which the BJP retorted, “Alas there’s a Pakistan outside of India and a Pakistan within the Congress.”
The BJP was responding to SOz’s comment to ANI news agency about the situation in Kashmir.
“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,” said Soz to ANI.
BJP spokesmen Sambit Patra, Amit Malviya and Ravi Shankar Prasad immediately hit back.
Malviya called Soz’s statement an “endorsement” of Musharraf.
Prasad said the Congress is “standing with those who want to break the country.”
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 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.
Two months ago, the Congress leader again courted controversy when he said the mainstream political parties in Kashmir should understand the stand taken by the separatist groups on the dialogue process, reported PTI.
“I wish the mainstream parties in Kashmir realise, in full measure, the genuineness of the stand taken by the Joint Resistance Leadership of the Hurriyat Conference on the issue of a purposeful dialogue process between New Delhi and Kashmir.
Soz courted controversy last year as well on the death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
“If it were in my control, I would have keep Burhan Wani alive for a dialogue,’ he had said.