Calling Jawaharlal Nehru and Patel “great sons of India”, Soz said Sardar Patel was a pragmatist and in “good faith, offered Kashmir to Liaquat Ali Khan”, the first prime minister of Pakistan.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was willing to give Kashmir to Pakistan in exchange of Hyderabad, but Jawaharlal Nehru was keen that the region remained with India, senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz said on Monday at the release of his book on Kashmir. The Congress had asked all its leaders to stay away from the event, but former Union minister Jairam Ramesh attended the event.
Former Union minister P Chidambaram was to release the book, titled Kashmir: Glimpses of History and the Story of Struggle, but he went by the party decision and did not attend the event. The Congress had earlier rejected claims made by Soz in the book. At the event, Soz said the Congress has nothing to do with the book. “It is my book and I am responsible… party should have no difficulty.”
Calling Nehru and Patel “great sons of India”, Soz said Patel was a pragmatist and in “good faith, offered Kashmir to Liaquat Ali Khan”, the first prime minister of Pakistan. He said Patel in the partition council told Khan, “Don’t talk of Hyderabad-Deccan… is it connected to Pakistan by road or by sea….what is your claim there? You cannot have it”.
Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar, who was press officer to former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri, said that after the 1962 India-China war, Shastri had said “If Pakistan had come to our help to support…unke sipaiyon ka khoon aur hamare sipaiyon ka khoon behta, baad main agar Pakistan Kashmir mangta toh na karna muskhil hota.” (If their soldiers and ours bled in the war and later Pakistan asked for Kashmir, it would have been difficult to say no)”.
Noted journalist and former Union minister Arun Shourie asked everyone to shed the baggage of history and then look for solutions to the Kashmir issue. Shourie slammed the BJP government, saying it has no policy with regard to Pakistan or China or banks. He said the BJP government has an “event-oriented and election-oriented approach and called it a “one-trick horse”. “It only knows one trick, which is to divide the Hindus and Muslims…,” he said.