Kashmiris want to be with India than Pak
New Delhi, Aug 13: While an overwhelming majority of the people of Jammu and Kashmir have said that the situation in the State have improved since 2002 when the last Assembly elections were held in the State, there is also a greater number of Kashmiris in the valley who are comfortable with remaining in India than their homeland being made a part of Pakistan.
In a first of its kind opinion poll, which was simultaneously conducted in India and Pakistan by CNN-IBN, Indian Express, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) and the Dawn Times, the poll found that in spite of majority of people (87 per cent of the pollsters) in the Valley who want an independent Kashmir there were other 10 per cent who wanted to see Kashmir either be made part of India or allow the present status to be continued.
This was in total contrast with what the people in the Valley had opinion about Pakistan.
Only 3 percent of those surveyed in the Valley wanted Kashmir to be made part of Pakistan similar to 2 percent of urban Indians expressing the same opinion.
In Jammu an overwhelming 95 per cent of those surveyed preferred Kashmir to be part of India.
A majority of those surveyed in the Valley and Jammu city agreed that the State should not be trifurcated and that Article 370 should be retained.
On the issue of Kashmiri Pandits' return to the State, both people of Jammu and the Valley wanted the government to facilitate the return of the pandits to the State.
The poll was carried out in the last week of July and the first week of August in the top ten cities of Pakistan (by A C Nielsen) and the top twenty cities of India (by CSDS). Besides 1010 interviews in urban Pakistan and 2030 interviews in urban India, the CSDS conducted a special straw poll by interviewing 226 persons in Srinagar and 255 persons in Jammu city.