Friday, May 28, 2010

Only 2% in J&K want to join Pak - Most In Favour Of Relaxed LoC As Border, Finds First-Ever Poll

New Delhi: For those who still think a plebiscite will tilt the status of Kashmir and that most Kashmiris yearn to wave the Pakistan green,there are now numbers for the first time to contradict them. A survey carried out across both Jammu and Kashmir (J&K ) and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), which its author claims is the first ever, shows that only 2% of the respondents in J&K favour joining Pakistan and most such views were confined to Srinagar and Budgam districts. In six of the districts surveyed late last year by researchers from the London-based thinktank Chatham House, not a single person favoured annexation with Pakistan, something that remains the bedrock for the hardline separate campaign in Kashmir. However, the study by Robert Bradrock,a scholar from Londons Kings College, that involved interviewing 3,774 people in both parts of Kashmir in September-October 2009 showed that 44% of people in PoK favoured independence, compared with 43% in J&K. Bradrock says in the 37-page report on the survey that this would put an end for all times to come to the plebiscite route as a possible way to resolve Kashmir since the only two options that were envisaged under the UN resolutions proposing plebiscite in 1948-49 were for the whole of Kashmir to join either India or Pakistan and azadi was not an option. But in the Valley, the mood for azadi still remained strong, with between 75% and 95% respondents favouring that as a final resolution.

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