'We have power to strike back'
In a stern warning to Pakistan, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said: “Let me make it clear to our neighbouring country (Pakistan) that we have all the competence and power to give a befitting reply to the use of its soil by terrorists, who mount assaults on India.”india Updated: Dec 22, 2008 00:04 IST
In a stern warning to Pakistan, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday said: “Let me make it clear to our neighbouring country (Pakistan) that we have all the competence and power to give a befitting reply to the use of its soil by terrorists, who mount assaults on India.”
She added: “Our intention to settle issues through dialogue and mutual cooperation should not be misunderstood as our weakness.” Sonia was speaking at an election rally in Suchetgarh, 30 km west of Jammu.
Saluting the people of Jammu and Kashmir for voting enthusiastically despite the poll boycott call, Sonia said it was a vote against separatism and asked its exponents to bow to the verdict.
“It was a vote against separatism. I congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Separatists should now respect and bow before the verdict of the people,” she said.
It is an assertion of their full faith in democracy and by taking part in the electoral exercise they have further increased their respectability across the country and the world, she said. Lauding the people for turning out in large numbers to vote during the first six phases of elections in the state, she appealed to them to create a record by casting their votes in the largest number in the final phase.
India is not a soft state: Pranab
In Kolkata, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said: “India is not a soft state. Its citizens will do everything necessary to keep terrorism and terrorists at bay. He reiterated that Muslims should not be branded terrorists or anti-nationals. “Just look at who fought against the terrorists in Mumbai. Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor is a Muslim and no less than 40 Muslims were killed in the recent terror strike…,” he added.
Rebuking Pakistan for continuously denying its soil was being used to harbour/train terrorists, Mukherjee said: “Don't indulge in flat denials. It leads nowhere... We want the Pakistani government to fulfill the commitment it made to us — nothing more, nothing less.”