Indian Congress leader Saifuddin Soz has said independence is the first choice of Kashmiris.
Speaking to ANI news agency, the veteran Congress leader said he agrees with former president Pervez Musharraf’s earlier statement that if Kashmiris are given the chance to exercise their free will, they would prefer to be independent.
“The statement [by Musharraf] was true then and remains true now also. I say the same but I know that it is not possible,” Soz was quoted as saying by the publication.
The veteran leader’s comment comes days ahead of the launch of his book Kashmir: Glimpses of History and the Story of Struggle.
In his book, Soz has reportedly criticised India’s use of force against Kashmiri freedom fighters, emphasising that there is a need to understand their mindset.
Soz has reportedly also said that then-Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh was scheduled to visit Islamabad in June 2007 to meet Musharraf for a “decisive dialogue” on occupied Kashmir. However, the meeting never took place, he added.