Srinagar: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was willing to give Kashmir to Pakistan but Jawaharlal Nehru wanted the region to remain with India, said senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz at the release of his book on Kashmir. The event on Monday was given a miss by Soz’s colleagues, media reports said.
Former minister P Chidambaram was to release the book, ‘Kashmir: Glimpses of History and the Story of Struggle’, but he did not attend the event, reports said. The Congress had rejected claims made in the book and Soz said the party had nothing to do with the book. “It is my book and I am responsible… party should have no difficulty.” The Congress had called Soz’s observations a “gimmick” to sell his book.
Soz said Patel in “good faith, offered Kashmir to Liaquat Ali Khan”, the first prime minister of Pakistan. He said Patel told Khan in the partition council, “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.”