Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar has described India as “pivotal power of Asia” and said the country has the potential to “tilt” the continent the way it wanted.
“I consider our country as Asia’s pivotal power. Pivotal power means that we are the power which has the potential to tilt this continent the way it wants. No country or the world will be able to overlook our potential,” he said.
The journalist-turned-politician said while the countries on the west were reeling under a “hot wave of terrorism,” the countries on the east were nursing the ambition of economic prosperity.
He emphasized that India’s role is very important in curbing this wave of terrorism, which will be in the interest of the world.
According to Akbar, war cannot be a solution to any problem and it is a fact that whoever started the war has never won it.
The major challenge before the country was elimination of poverty, Akbar said and recalled Modi’s statement that the era of poverty alleviation was now over and that of poverty elimination has begun after 70 years (of Independence).
He said earlier 70 per cent of the people were below the poverty line but in the last seven decades that figure has come down to 35 per cent.
“We have to bring it down in the next 10 years as there is no time now,” he said.
Reacting to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s decision to appoint 22 special envoys to rake up the Kashmir issue at the United Nations, Akbar saying Pakistan shouldn’t internationlise the issue. Taking a dig at Pakistan, Akbar added, “It is Pakistan’s individual right if it wants its MPs to go for free tourism.”