New Delhi, Nov 17 (UNI) Congress President Sonia Gandhi today declared the UPA Government's firm resolve to stamp out terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and praised the people of the troubled state for not allowing an atmosphere of communalism and violence to breed despite extreme provocation.
''I am very happy to point out that there has been an improvement in the situation in the state. We can see willingness on the part of the people to live peacefully. Developmental activities have also received a boost,'' she said in her inaugural address to the day-long AICC session.
She said it was painful that stray terrorist incidents had taken place at some places. ''But it is heart-warming to note that despite some serious incidents, people of the state have displayed patience and forbearance,'' she added.
Ms Gandhi asserted that the UPA Government had never tried to take advantage of the terrorist activities though the BJP-led NDA Government did whatever suited its policies in the state. ''It is our pledge to the nation that we will root out terrorism,'' she added.
She also expressed concern over the Naxalite violence in some states. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described Naxalite violence as the biggest threat to internal security, she noted. ''I fully agree with him. We have to find concrete measures to tackle this challenge,'' she added.
This was also true about the North-East, where grappling with terrorism has become a big challenge for the government. ''We have proposed talks but it is also our duty to maintain an atmosphere of security and peace,'' she added.
Ms Gandhi observed that the administration has to be responsive to the need of the people in tribal areas to tackle the challenge posed by extremism.