Notwithstanding the voices of dissent within the party, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has endorsed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's initiative on Pakistan and has conveyed this to senior leaders and ministers, party sources said in New Delhi on Saturday.
The joint statement of the prime minister with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in Egypt last week was discussed at the Congress' core committee meeting in New Delhi on Friday night.
According to the sources, Gandhi told the party leaders that the Congress should stand united on Manmohan Singh's initiative and that she endorsed it. The prime minister, meanwhile, assured that the government would have all the answers on the India-Pakistan statement.
Several senior ministers, including former external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, are said to be upset over the joint statement seeking to delink terrorism from the composite dialogue between the two countries.
"Some ministers are particularly unhappy over the inclusion of Balochistan in the joint statement," said a source. But party leaders have refused to go on record in view of the sensitivity of the issue.
The meeting was held at the prime minister's residence and was attended by Sonia Gandhi, Defence Minister AK Antony, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel, among others.