Sudheendra Kulkarni favours autonomy for Kashmir

Mumbai: A month after he faced ‘paint attack’ from Shiv Sena supporters in Mumbai at the book launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Sudheendra Kulkarni embroiled in a fresh controversy on Friday.

The chairman of the Observer Research Foundation supported former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah’s view on Kashmir and said that both India and Pakistan need to accept that the territories occupied by the two countries cannot be snatched away. Instead, the two countries should provide autonomy to the people of Kashmir.

Delivering a lecture at the Pakistan High Commission at New Delhi, Kulkarni blamed Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel for partition of India. He went on to add that both India and Pakistan in their historical texts have ‘over glorified’ Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Kulkarni also went on to add that India should treat Pakistan as equal and not play a big brother role all the time.

“Neither India can ever occupy the PoK and nor will Pakistan ever be able to get control over what is called in Pakistan as India occupied Kashmir. Kashmir should be given administrative autonomy,” he said.

Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Modi’s foreign trips, Kulkarni also said that Modi should plan a Pakistan visit. “He has gone to every neighboring country except Pakistan. Prime Minister should visit Pakistan and resume dialogue,” he said.

Kulkarni who was speaking for promoting India Pakistan unity also said that both countries have over glorified the contribution of Mahatam Gandhi and Quaid-I-Azam.

“Mahamat Gandhi in 1944 accepted the legitimacy of demand for a separate nation in the Gandhi- Jinnah talk,” he said. Kulkarni also said that had Congress met Jinnah’s demand for safeguarding the rights of minority, tragedy pf partition could have been avoided. “Jinnah worked as ambassador or Hindi-Muslim unity, but later went on to demand partition. But today neither the Congress nor the BJP accepts this truth.” he added.

The former BJP member blamed both Nehru and Patel for the partition of India. “Both Nehru and Patel went on to become enthusiastic supporter of Pakistan. They helped in shaping the two nation theory,” he said.