Sonia endorses PM's initiative on Pakistan

Sonia Gandhi

The joint statement of the prime minister with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in Egypt last week was discussed at the Congress' core committee meeting here Friday night. 

According to the sources, Gandhi told the party leaders that the Congress should stand united on Manmohan Singh's initiative and that she endorsed it. The prime minister, meanwhile, assured that the government would have all the answers on the India-Pakistan statement.

Several senior ministers, including former external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, are said to be upset over the joint statement seeking to delink terrorism from the composite dialogue between the two countries.

"Some ministers are particularly unhappy over the inclusion of Balochistan in the joint statement," said a source. But party leaders have refused to go on record in view of the sensitivity of the issue.

The meeting was held at the prime minister's residence and was attended by Sonia Gandhi, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel, among others.

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