Sonia Asks PDP To Show Maturity2 August 2010
The Economic Times
New Delhi: As violence escalated in Jammu and Kashmir, Congress president Sonia Gandhi held “elements with ulterior motives” responsible for instigating the attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. In her signed article in the latest issue of party mouthpiece Sandesh, Ms Gandhi said that these elements must be identified and brought to book. Expressing confidence in the state government’s efforts to “do everything” to restore normalcy in the state, Ms Gandhi said that there should be a “continued push on the development agenda.” The Congress president backed the Manmohan Singh government’s efforts to persist with the dialogue process with Pakistan, but with the rider that Islamabad should first crack down on the outfits using its soil to export terror across the border. 'It is important that we engage our neighbour to address outstanding issues, in particular the issue of cross-border terrorism. We’ve reiterated that effective action by Pakistan against terrorism is central to restoring good relations between our countries. We must continue to insist that Pakistan takes the investigation into the Mumbai terror attack seriously and bring all the perpetrators of that terrible crime to justice. While we strive for peace, we cannot and will not be soft on terrorism,’’ she remarked. The Congress president described development, which creates jobs and livelihood opportunities, as one of the “key instruments against terrorism and violence”. While Ms Gandhi’s letter steered clear of the state’s political dynamics, the editorial did not hold back its punches. In a thinly veiled reference to PDP and its refusal to participate in a political solution and its vocal protests against the Abdullah government, the editorial has called for “political maturity” “This is also the time when certain political leaders must show the required maturity in dealing with the situation caused by the recent unrest in Jammu and Kashmir...This is not the time when certain political groups add further to the strife with their cacophony,” the editorial reads. On Monday, Congress described the situation in the state as “sensitive” and “a matter of great concern”. The party called on the centre and the state to “act in concert.” Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan said, “we would like to emphasise that people of Jammu and Kashmir should not fall prey to the machinations from across the border.” Ms Gandhi’s letter has also referred to another vexed issue, that of increase in the prices of petroleum and products. She has justified the hike in fuel prices describing it as “necessary. Ensuring more funds for social sector programmes has been listed by Ms Gandhi as one of the reasons for the hike. “An increase in prices is never a pleasant thing. However, this has been done for a number of reasons including increasing the availability of funds for our social sector schemes,” Ms Gandhi said.