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Kamal Haasan calls for plebiscite in Kashmir, party says words taken out of context

File photo of actor-politician Kamal Haasan. Photograph:( PTI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 18, 2019, 01.55 PM (IST)

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan has batted for a plebiscite in Kashmir and asked the government about what they are 'afraid of'.  At an event in Chennai on Sunday, the Makkal Needhi Maiam leader Haasan said, "Why India is not holding a plebiscite in Kashmir?  What are they (government) afraid of?"

Referring to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) as `Azad Kashmir`, he said: "In Azad Kashmir, they are using Jihadis` pictures in trains to portray them as heroes. That is a foolish thing to do. India too behaves with an equal amount of foolishness, it is not a correct thing to do. If we want to prove that India is a far better country then we should not behave like this. That is where politics begins, a new political culture begins,” he said.

Talking at length about Kashmir and problems plaguing in the region, Haasan said that if India and Pakistan “behave well”, the Line of Control (LoC) will be under check.

"Why do soldiers die?  Why should those guarding our home (border) die? If both sides (India and Pakistan) behave properly, no soldier needs to die. The Line of Control will be under control, " questioned the actor. 

On being asked to comment on the ghastly Pulwama terror attack on CRPF convoy in which nearly 40 jawans lost their lives on 14th February, the leader said: "When I was running a magazine called `Maiyam`, I wrote on the Kashmir issue and what is expected. Hold plebiscite and make people talk...why have they not conducted it? What are they scared of? They want to divide the nation, that`s all. Why don`t you ask them again? They won`t do it?" 

The actor though later backtracked and stated his statement had been taken out of context. His party, Makkal Needhi Maiam, later issued a clarification on Monday morning stating that Haasan's comments had been taken out of context by Times Now channel. "The references made in the Times Now report were mentioned by our party president in the context of a magazine article published three decades ago about an option that available at one point in time of history,” the statement said. “This is no longer relevant and is no way an indication of his position or party’s position today.”

The statement said the party believed entire Kashmir is an integral part of India. “Our president and our party stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the armed forces in this hour of grief.”

(With inputs from ANI)

Story highlights

Talking at length about Kashmir and problems plaguing in the region, Haasan said that if India and Pakistan “behave well”, the Line of Control will be under check.