Sonia: Address anger and pain of Kashmiris | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Sonia: Address anger and pain of Kashmiris

Anguished over the unrest in Kashmir, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Thursday called for reaching out to the people, especially youth, of the state by addressing their “anger and pain” through dialogue and mutual understanding.

delhi Updated: Aug 20, 2010 00:10 IST

Anguished over the unrest in Kashmir, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Thursday called for reaching out to the people, especially youth, of the state by addressing their “anger and pain” through dialogue and mutual understanding.

“Jammu and Kashmir has a special place in our polity and indeed in our hearts. A whole generation has grown up under the shadow of brutality and conflict,” she said in her address to the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting.

Gandhi described the developments as a “call to our collective conscience” and offered condolences to the families of those killed in violence. “I feel their grief. They are our very own and their suffering is ours.”

Gandhi also praised security forces, saying they had a difficult task.

On illegal mining, she said it had emerged as the “most serious menace” in a number of states affected by tribal deprivation and Left-wing extremist violence.

“What is most worrying is the high degree of convergence between areas that are mineral and forest-rich and areas that are the arenas of tribal deprivation and for Left-wing extremist violence.”

She said dealing with the Naxalite challenge would call for fundamental innovations in the manner in which the mineral resources were exploited and forests managed.

On the Bhopal gas tragedy, Gandhi acknowledged there had been inadequacies. “But we cannot remain prisoners of the past. We must look ahead.”

Gandhi said the Prime Minister has spoken of the need for reforms in the management of food economy and the National Advisory Council had taken up the subject even as steps were being taken to fulfill the pledge on the food security.

On the elections in Bihar, she said her party was galvanised to fight the battle ahead.

“Ours is the only party to have an all-inclusive development agenda. Never before has Bihar received so much financial assistance from the Centre for development and welfare.”