Sardar Patel was ready to give Kashmir to Pakistan in exchange of Hyderabad-Saifuddin Soz

Srinagar: 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 said at the release of his book on Kashmir, India Express reportec.
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 If their soldiers and ours bled in the war and later Pakistan asked for Kashmir, it would have been difficult to say no”.

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