Need to address anger, pain of Kashmiri youth: Sonia


New Delhi : Congress president Sonia Gandhi Thursday said Jammu and Kashmir had a special place in the hearts of the countrymen and efforts should be made to address the anger and pain among the youth of the state.

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“Jammu and Kashmir has a special place in our polity and indeed in our hearts. Reaching out to the people of the state, most particularly the youth, is the need of the hour,” Gandhi said in her address to the Congress parliamentary party meeting here.

“A whole generation has grown up under the shadow of brutality and conflict. The anger and pain that is manifesting itself, especially among the young, needs to be addressed,” she said.

Terming the suffering of people of the state as “ours”, Gandhi said dialogue and mutual understanding will help in ending the cycle of violence.

“They are our very own and their suffering is ours. Dialogue and mutual understanding are the key to ending the cycle of violence and tragic killings,” she said, adding that the security forces had a difficult task to discharge.

The Congress president said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, at his meeting with an all-party delegation Aug 10, unveiled a blueprint for reconciliation and reconstruction stemming from a sincere and genuine desire to engage the people of the state.

“This is and will remain our agenda,” she said.

Gandhi said she was anguished at the upsurge in violence and tensions in the state over the past few weeks. “It is a call to our collective conscience,” she said.

She expressed her condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones. “I feel their grief,” she said.