Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday sought to reach out to youth who have taken to the streets in Kashmir by calling for a magnanimous response towards their "legitimate aspirations". She urged for a display of spirit of "accommodation" to deal with violence in the state.
"This alone, I believe, can create space for reconciliation and bring an end to turmoil and conflict," Gandhi said while outlining the broad parameters of the path to peace at Wednesday's all-party meeting on Kashmir.
She underlined that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are "our people…our citizens. Let us demonstrate it in a spirit of accommodation".
"We know that there are some inimical forces within and beyond the state and we understand the extreme pressures and dangerous circumstances our police and security forces face in protecting our sovereignty and territorial integrity. But we also must ask ourselves why is there so much anger? Why is there so much pain, in particular amongst the youth? The young, specially, 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."
This, she added, "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".
Stressing that words alone will not suffice, Gandhi called for sensitive actions and urged parties to rise above their differences. "Together, let us arrive at suitable decisions on which we can all agree to break this vicious cycle of violence and suffering. Let us put aside our ideological and political differences. We are facing far too serious a challenge to allow those differences to stand in the way of resolute, sensitive and appropriate actions," she said.
The Congress would support the process of healing and dialogue in partnership with the people of J&K, she said expressing sorrow over the continuing loss of life.
She also recalled the PM's remarks last month that Indian democracy has shown resilience to accommodate diverse aspirations and unique circumstances and capacity to solve complex problems.