Delhi, Aug 13 - As many as 87 per cent of people living in Srinagar want Kashmir to become an independent country, a poll conducted by a leading
Delhi based newspaper said Monday. A
similar level of support for independence exists across the Kashmir valley, the poll said.
India and Pakistan have fought over Kashmir ever since they won independence
from British rule in 1947, but the overwhelming majority of people in the Kashmir valley had no allegiance to either side, the survey conducted
by the Indian Express said.
A similar level of support for independence exists across the Kashmir valley, the poll said.
Only 3 per cent of the respondents in Srinagar told the survey that Kashmir should become part of Pakistan, while 7 per cent preferred Indian
But down in Jammu, the state's mainly Hindu winter capital in the plains to the south, 95 percent think
Kashmir should be part of India.
Poll conducted by Delhi-based Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) since July, interviewed
226 people in Srinagar and 255 people in Jammu city.
The survey, which was also the first-ever joint India-Pakistan poll conducted ahead of the nations'
60th independence anniversary, interviewed more than 3,000 people in 10 Indian and an equal number of Pakistani cities.
It found that while 67 per cent of the Indians wanted Kashmir to be with India, 48 per cent of the Pakistani
respondents said Kashmir should be with Pakistan. Fifteen per cent of the Indians and 47 per cent Pakistanis favoured independence
Roughly seven out of 10 Kashmiris think the situation has improved since 2002.
The overwhelming majority of Srinagar's residents think the security forces have too much power.
The army is often accused of killing innocent people and other rights abuses, operating under a special law that largely protects
soldiers from prosecution.
Around 84 percent of people in Srinagar want to see the return of Kashmiri Pandits, a Hindu community,
large numbers of whom fled the region after being targeted by Islamist militants. Many live in refugee camps elsewhere in