Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar on Friday said that a “mature” friend is far more valuable than a “hysterical” partner.
Addressing the first India-China think-tank forum here, Akbar said that the time has come for India and China to regain the reputation of being a global manufacturing hub. He referred to the past when India accounted for 24 per cent of the global manufacturing output and China 30 per cent.
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“There cannot be any situation in which two nations do not have some differences. Of course, there will be some but mature nations can take their problems to a decent space of a dialogue table,” Akbar said at the inauguration of the two-day forum. His remarks appeared to be an indirect message to China, which describes Pakistan as an “all-weather ally” and has strong defence and trade ties with it.
In the backdrop of the terror strikes carried out in India by Pakistan-based groups, Akbar said that dangers from terrorism are not limited to the fact that it kills people but also in its use of fear to divide people, especially in societies and nations which are built on pluralism.
He warned that complacence was absolutely the “biggest danger” while dealing with new realities posed by terrorism. Commenting on the current situation in the region, the minister said, “Peace is sometimes more difficult to find than war.”
He said that in the post British empire era, both India and China agreed that religion cannot be the basis of nationalism.
“In the (Indian) sub-continent this idea was challenged by votaries of the Muslim League, who argued that religion could be basis of nation state. Parallel story that religion on which they wanted nation state, Islam, there is no history of Islam being basis of political unity,” he said.