Sonia Snubs Omar: J&K Integral Part Of India20 October 2010
The Indian Express
New Delhi: Taking a swipe at Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, without naming him, for his controversial remarks in the Assembly that the state had only acceded to India under certain conditions and not merged with it, Congress president Sonia Gandhi asserted that the state was “an integral part” of India and had a “special place in our polity”. She said PM Manmohan Singh had taken “effective steps” to reach out by calling an all-party meeting in Delhi, which was followed by the visit of an all-party delegation led by the Home Minister. “We hope that continued dialogue and the concrete policy initiatives which have been announced by the government on September 4 will lead to an end to the ongoing cycle of violence,” said the Congress president. Incidentally, she did not make any reference to the party’s coalition partner National Conference or the CM in her letter. Crediting people of the country for receiving the Allahabad High Court verdict on Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suits “in a mature and peaceful manner”, she said the ruling “in no way condoned” the demolition of Babri Masjid, which was a “shameful and criminal” act for which the perpetrators must be brought to justice. Referring to violence and tension in J&K in the past few months, she noted that this situation arose after many years during which there was growing stability and successful democratic elections. “Jammu & Kashmir has a special place in our polity. It is an integral part of India and peace in this region is of paramount importance. While violence is not a solution and must be contained, the anger manifesting itself amongst Kashmiri youth in particular must also be addressed. We must respect their legitimate aspirations,” Sonia said in her letter to the Congress members in the latest issue of party mouthpiece Congress Sandesh .