We need to give Kashmiri youth hope: Sonia


New Delhi : Kashmiri youth who have grown in the “embrace of violence of conflict and brutality” need to be given hope, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said Wednesday at the all-party meeting to discuss the crisis in the volatile Kashmir Valley.

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“We know that there are some inimical forces within and beyond the state and we understand the extreme pressure and dangerous circumstances our police and security forces face in protecting our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Gandhi said at the meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The meeting held at the prime minister’s 7, Race Course Road official residence was called to discuss measures to defuse the volatile situation in the valley, where 88 people, mainly teenagers and youth, have died in violent protests since June 11.

Gandhi, who was leading the Congress party delegation in the meeting, said: “But we also must ask ourselves why there is so much anger. Why there is so much pain, in particular among the youth.”

“The young especially 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 should be reflected in what we say and decide. We need to be magnanimous and mature in our approach as besets strong confidence and inclusive democracy,” Gandhi said.