Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Journalist and Baba Ramdev associate Ved Pratap Vaidik has landed in yet another controversy. Vaidik, who hit the headlines over his meeting with 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, is in news again for saying that there is no harm if Kashmir is made an independent nation.
Speaking to a Pakistan-based news channel, Vaidik said that both India and Pakistan should stop fighting over Kashmir and make it an independent nation.
Reacting to the controversy over his interview to Dawn News, Vaidik said India and Pakistan should work to build a bridge rather than a gorge.
He said that he has been in favour of individual freedom and not separation.
Talking to a news agency, Vaidik said, "While talking about the freedom of Kashmir, I have always maintained yes to freedom and no to separation. By freedom here, I mean the freedom of the people of Kashmir. They should have the same freedom that I have in Delhi and any other leader or journalists in Lahore. Both Kashmirs should be made one. There should be bridge, rather than a gorge."
"I have always said that separating Kashmir from India can be a very wrong step. It will be more harmful for Pakistan and Kashmir than India. I have always been in favour of freedom. Every man should be free under democracy," he added.
Clearing his views further, he said, "We should be aware of the true meaning of federalism. I said that they (Kashmir) should get autonomy, which they have. Isn`t Omar Abdullah a Kashmiri? Is he a Bihari? I am talking about individual freedom."
"I haven`t asked for the removal of Article 377. It is about combining the two parts of Kashimir to make it one. We need to take this matter with seriousness and not lightly like some TV channels have been doing," he added.
"I released the photo and interview myself. TV channels and newspapers have already talked so much about it. There is nothing to hide about it," he added.
Congress is taking up this issue so as to target the Narendra Modi government and not me. "They are creating a connection between Modi-Ramdev-Vaidik. I have met people who are even more dangerous than Saeed," he said.
The yoga guru Ramdev`s close aide`s meeting with Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Lahore had created a controversy on Monday with the opposition Congress asking if he was sent as an emissary, even as the government and the BJP distanced themselves from the meeting, saying Saeed was a "terrorist".
The Congress asked if Vaidik was sent as an emissary and why proper channels had not been followed.