Chennai: 

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan has clarified after a controversy over his comments apparently questioning why the government did not carry out a plebiscite in Kashmir. He said today that plebiscite is “no longer relevant” and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

“Why is India not holding a plebiscite in Kashmir? What are they (government) afraid of,” Kamal Haasan had said at an event on Sunday, where he also referred to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) as “Azad Kashmir”.

He was asked to comment on the Pulwama terror attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in which nearly 40 soldiers were killed on February 14. “When I was running a magazine called ‘Maiyam‘, I wrote on the Kashmir issue and what is expected. Why wasn’t a plebiscite held in Kashmir, making people talk about it? What are they (government) afraid of. Nothing can be done now. Didn’t they somehow divide the nation, that’s all. Why don’t you ask them again? They won’t do it,” said the veteran actor, who set up his outfit Makkal Needhi Maiam last year.

“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 had said.

Dwelling on Kashmir and problems plaguing the region, he said if India and Pakistan “behaved 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.”

While putting out a clarification, Kamal Haasan said his comments on plebiscite were in the context of a magazine he edited decades ago.

The 64-year-old actor-politician recently said his new outfit would contest all 40 seats in Tamil Nadu in the national election, due by May.

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