PM: Good relations with Pak not at cost of national honour

FP

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said India wants good relations with Pakistan but not at the cost of national honour. This came during deliberations of the Congress's sub-committee on India and the world at the Chintan Shivir on Friday.

As some speakers emphasised on the need to deal with Pakistan sternly saying that the neighbouring country has always been hostile to India, the Prime Minister who had joined the meeting for some time was learnt to have intervened saying, "Pakistan's attitude is not right. We have had strained relationship with Pakistan for most of the time since its creation and we are addressing it. We want good relationship with Pakistan but not at the cost of our national honour and national interest."

In her opening address, the Congress president had said the dialogue between the two countries "must be based on accepted principles of civilised behaviour".

The five sub-committees — on India and the world, organisational strength, political challenges, socio-economic challenges and empowerment of women — deliberated for over three hours Friday and are scheduled to continue for another four hours Saturday before finalising the draft resolution that would be endorsed at the AICC session on Sunday.

Kerala leaders oppose diesel price increase

At the meeting of the sub-committee on socio-economic challenges, Kerala leaders including PCC chief Ramesh Chennithala and Union Minister Vyalar Ravi were learnt to have opposed the UPA government's decision leading to a hike in the price of diesel. They demanded its rollback. They were also said to have opposed any reduction in subsidies saying that it would hurt the interest of farmers. Their opposition on these issues came in contrast with the general mood at the Congress conclave where rationalisation of subsidies and tough economic decisions are being seen as a must to bring the economy back on high growth trajectory. At the meeting, Mani Shankar Aiyar was said to have argued that Indian Constitution talks about socialism and the Congress party has also believed in it. "We should, therefore, adhere to socialism," Aiyar was quoted by sources as having said.

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