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Mature friend valuable than hysterical partner: MJ Akbar on Sino-Pak friendship

New Delhi: In a veiled dig at Sino-Pakistan friendship, Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar said a “mature” friend is far more valuable than a “hysterical” partner. Addressing the first India-China think-tank forum here, Akbar also said 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% of the global manufacturing output and China 30%. “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.

“A mature friend is far, far more valuable than a hysterical partner,” Akbar said at the inauguration of the two-day forum. His remarks appeared as an indirect message to China which describes Pakistan as a “all weather ally” and has strong defence and trade ties with it. In the backdrop of the several terror strikes carried out in India by Pakistan-based groups, Akbar said 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 also said 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.