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Mudda discusses Soz’s controversial statement on Kashmiris’ aspiration for independence, defence experts appalled at parties not making national security a priority

The show was anchored by Himanshu Dixit. The panellists were Ashok Thakur form BJP, defence experts PK Sehgal and Fasi Ahmad, ex-additional director general (Border Security Force) PK Mishra, Rajkumar Mishra of Congress and APN Consulting Editor Govind Pant Raju.

Friday’s edition of Mudda discussed the controversial statement made by Congress leader Saifuddin Soz. Soz had supported former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s statement that Kashmiris’ first choice is independence. “Musharraf said Kashmiris don’t want to merge with Pakistan, their first choice is independence. The statement was true then and remains true even today. I say the same but I know that it is not possible,” Soz was quoted as saying. BJP criticised Soz’s statement whereas its ally Shiv Sena said that Congress President Rahul Gandhi should give an explanation on the matter.

Ashok Thakur spoke on BJP pulling out of the alliance with PDP in Kashmir. He said that BJP had cooperated with PDP and then chief minister Mehbooba Mufti in every way possible but when the very same Mufti started discouraging the Army and supporting stone-pelters and terrorists, it had to part ways.

Anchor of the show, Himanshu Dixit, read out a tweet sent by one of the viewers, who had asked if Congress would condemn Soz’s statement. To this, the Congress spokesman in the show, Rajkumar Mishra, said that his party would condemn anybody who speaks against the nation’s unity. However, at this point both the party spokesmen got into a fight. Fasi Ahmad said that it makes him very sad to see that the two mainstream parties cannot arrive on the same page even on an issue of national security. He said that the Amarnath Yatra would start after two days and since Governor’s Rule has been imposed in the state, the next two months would be very challenging for the security forces.

“Our country is said to be the oldest democracy but if this is how two national parties behave at such a crucial juncture, then I am appalled as an ex-Armyman,” Ahmad said.

Raju said that it is high time that the likes of Soz are told to keep their mouth shut. He said that in Kashmir, regional as well as national parties have played their own politics in the Valley. “Whenever Governor’s Rule has been imposed in the Valley, things have got difficult to handle. In the 1990s when Governor’s Rule was imposed, there were many deaths of the security forces, separatists and civilians,” Raju said.

—Compiled by Lilly Paul

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