Kashmiris prefer India to Pakistan, says Belgian study
25 June 2001
The Indian Express
Srinagar: According to a study carried out by a foreign delegation in Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), more people in Jammu and Kashmir would prefer to stay with India than to a merger with Pakistan. However, the majority prefers an independent Kashmir. The study, conducted by Belgian Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir (BASJK) from June 18 to July 13 last year, claimed 38.25 per cent population polled favoured independence against only 24.35 per cent who want merger with Pakistan while 37.40 per cent would like to remain in the Indian Union. A two-member delegation of Basjk, Paul Beersman and Heyndreckx, presented the report to Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Industries and Commerce Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal and discussed the prevailing situation in the state. The Centre as well as the State government has from time to time ruled out holding of a referendum in the state.