New Delhi: Linking the turmoil in Kashmir to
anger and pain among Kashmiri youth who grew up in "conflict
and brutality", Congress chief Sonia Gandhi today said their
"legitimate aspirations" must be respected and a magnanimous
approach adopted to give them hope.
Addressing an all-party meet on Kashmir here, she pressed
for a spirit of accommodation and reconciliation and said the
"ideological and political differences" should be put aside as
"we are facing far too serious a challenge to allow those
differences to stand in the way of resolute, sensitive and
She said the Congress party is "more than willing" to
support a process of "healing and dialogue in partnership"
with the people of the state as she expressed deep sense of
sorrow at the continuing loss of life in the state.
"We meet today against the backdrop of escalating
violence in Kashmir. It cannot be too strongly said that words
alone will not suffice," Gandhi said at the meeting convened
by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"Together, let us arrive at suitable decisions on which
we can all agree to break this vicious cycle of violence and
suffering," she said.
Emphasising that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part
of "our country and our democracy", the UPA Chairperson said
"we must ask ourselves why is there so much anger. Why is
there so much pain, in particular amongst the youth?"
Apparently seeking to give answers to these questions,
she said "the young, especially, belong to a generation that
has grown up in the embrace of violence, of conflict and
brutality. We must give them hope, we must understand and
respect their legitimate aspirations."
Gandhi said this should be reflected in "what we say and
decide. We need to be magnanimous and mature in our approach,
as befits a strong confident and inclusive democracy."
"Let us demonstrate in a spirit of accommodation. This
alone, I believe, can create space for reconciliation and
bring and end to turmoil and conflict."
At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Jayanthi
Natarajan said it is the time that the entire country should
come together and set aside all political differences to end
the escalating violence in Jammu and Kashmir.
Need peace for talks: PM
Distressed over the events in
Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said
the government was willing to talk to anybody or any group but
asserted that it could not happen till the end of violence,
some of which is "orchestrated by certain groups".
Addressing the all-party meeting on the volatile situation
in Jammu and Kashmir, Singh underlined that dialogue and
discussion is the "only path for lasting peace and prosperity"
in the state and those having grievancse against the
government "have to talk to the administration".
"I am sure all of us share a deep sense of distress over
the unfortunate sequence of events, during and after the Eid,
particularly in the context of a reported act by a misguided
person thousands of miles away," Singh said, in an apparent
reference to the alleged incident of desecration of Holy Quran
by a person in the US.
"We have to talk to each other...But it is also true
that meaningful dialogue can happen only in an atmosphere free
from violence and confrontation. Discussions can take place
only if we have calm and public order," he emphasised.