Pakistan’s comparison with India a misfit : Rahul Gandhi

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13 October 2009
With far-reaching impact in fast evolving multi-lateral diplomacy among the nations, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi in a very hard-hitting, yet subtle, tone said Pakistan could not be compared with a great country like India.

While addressing media persons here on Tuesday, Gandhi categorically said Pakistan does not deserve even ‘half the importance', as being accorded to, in our country.

"Geographically, Pakistan is just a small piece of land and its comparison with our country is a misfit pursuit," candidly remarked Congress general secretary. On Tuesday, he was on a day-long visit to Himachal Pradesh to woo students for the party's student wing - the National Students Union of India (NSUI).

Delving further on current situation in the neighbouring country, Gandhi said Pakistan's internal issues do have some bearings on our country but we accord too much time considering them important and crucial, Gandhi emphasized. "In my view, it (Pakistan) deserves not even half the importance we attach to it," Gandhi told mediapersons.

Reflecting on the changing global mindset towards Pakistan, he said the attitude of the world in general towards it (Pakistan) has gone under change in recent past, he remarked, adding that same having emerged only after arduous and protracted efforts by India at all platforms.

"The entire world is putting pressure on Pakistan. Certain issues related to Pakistan have to be taken into consideration and which is already being done. And, we are placed comfortably. There is no comparison between India and Pakistan," further said Congress general secretary.

Gandhi, taking a dig at the opposition parties in particular the BJP, said, " They (the BJP) talk about Pakistan's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah. But, then he (Jinnah) is in realm of the history and for me, it is just not possible to even think about Jinnah even for five seconds or for that matter, even for one second also."

He further remarked about the BJP's ‘India Shining' slogan and how same was discarded by the people at large in 2004 general elections. Within the elite structure of the society in urban pockets only, India was shining, Gandhi said, adding, "We believe in the ideology of uplift of the poor and the down-trodden."

Commenting on the criticism about his visits to villages, he said that these were meant primarily to get first-hand information about the real situation in the country and for necessary measures to redress problems.

In a frank admission, Congress general secretary said political parties, including Congress, BJP and others, had not been open to bring the youth under respective folds.
"With an aim to democratise the process of active participation, we are sincere about same in our frontal organisations of the party, Youth Congress and NSUI," Gandhi said, adding that nominations would be a thing of the past and only elected people would man these set-ups.
But, it requires some time and the process is on with already having done the same in four states for Youth Congress, he said. He hoped that the common youth of this country would join these organizations in large numbers and in coming years its impact will be felt in politics.
Talking about the Youth Congress organisation in Punjab, he said, "In Punjab, top leadership of NSUI and Youth Congress has come from the grass root. At Panchayat and block level, maximum of our leaders are common youth, who are working for these organisations."
Congress general secretary stressed the need for an upper age limit in party's youth organisations. He said people above 35 years of age would not be office-bearers of Youth Congress and NSUI.
He further said doors were open for the youth to enter Youth Congress and NSUI which was once closed for them. "We have a clear vision for the future. In Tamil Nadu, around 6,000 youths have joined our organisation and they are the future leaders of the Congress," Gandhi remarked.
Congress general secretary said there have been two Indias, created over the years - one of the rich and one of the poor. "We have to build one composite unified India. The Unique Identity Card scheme will help in making policies meant for the poor and trace the loopholes and thus, bridge the gap between the rich and the poor," emphasised Congress general secretary, while talking to reporters here.

Congress general secretary later interacted with students at the Himachal Pradesh University here.

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