Seeking to temper the discourse on Pakistan in the wake of the beheading of an Indian soldier, Rahul Gandhi on Saturday made some plain speaking saying taking tough steps and showing emotions are two different things.
Mr. Gandhi, who spoke in the sub-group on ‘India and the World’ at the party’s brainstorming conclave in Jaipur, is believed to have told the participants that while tough steps are taken in some situations, decisions cannot guided by emotions, sources said.
“We should take tough steps but not be emotional in our response,” he said as the majority of participants sought strict action against Pakistan.
Interestingly, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who also participated in the discussion, advocated “balance” in dealing with such provocative situations.
He pointed out that India conducts its diplomacy in such a way that it maintains friendly relationships with countries, which are sworn enemies between themselves.
The discussion in the sub-group witnessed participation of a large number of delegates from Youth Congress and NSUI.
Party spokesperson Rashid Alvi advocated strong action against Pakistan after the beheading of the Indian soldiers and felt that the party’s base document for discussing the issue was “mild” in tone.
Mr. Alvi said Congress should send a message to the country that “we are strong and will not take such things lying down”.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had attended the discussion in the yesterday during which he had said while India wants to maintain good relations with all countries including Pakistan, it becomes difficult after such acts by Pakistan.
Party leaders said that several delegates attending the meeting of the group including several from Youth Congress and NSUI made a strong pitch for a stern resolution against Pakistan at the AICC meeting tomorrow.
Earlier, the Chintan Shivir saw party chief Sonia Gandhi, angry over the beheading of an Indian soldier, saying India’s dialogue with Pakistan must be based on accepted principles of civilized behaviour.
“Better and closer relations with our immediate neighbours will not only make for regional peace -- they will also have a positive impact on some of our own border states,” she said in her opening remark at the shivir.
“However, let us be clear. Our dialogue must be based on accepted principles of civilized behaviour. We will never compromise on our vigil and preparedness to deal with terrorism and threats on our borders,” she said in her address to the Chintan Shivir of the party here.