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PoK premier against independent Kashmir

May 19, 2003 23:25 IST

Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan has strongly opposed the idea of an independent Kashmir and said he supported the division of the state between Hindu and Muslim majority areas.

Pakistani media quoted Khan as saying on Monday that the Hindu majority areas could go to India, while the Muslim majority areas of Kashmir could be merged with Pakistan.

Khan said an independent Kashmir was not viable because a tiny state surrounded by India, China and Pakistan would not be able to defend itself.

Hayat endorsed the 'Chenab formula' which proposed the division of Jammu and Kashmir on the lines of Hindu and Muslim majority areas from the banks of the river.

He said Kashmir was important for Pakistan because of its economic and moral stakes in the valley and supported the idea of approaching the Indo-Pak talks in a spirit of give and take.

Replying to a question, Khan said a leadership crisis could emerge if the Kashmiri people were called in tripartite talks with India and Pakistan.

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