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  • Terrorism is stumbling block between normalising ties with Pakistan: MJ Akbar

    Published on February 14, 2017

     

    New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar has said that terrorism is the stumbling block between normalising ties with Pakistan. It is impossible to have dialogue between those who like to hold a script in one hand and a gun in the other.

    Speaking at the second Gateway of India Geo-economic Dialogue, Mr Akbar said when people abandon the gun, nations and people will find a way forward to amity and coexistence. Nobody talks under the shadow of a gun. Aimed at building synergy between business and foreign policy, the Ministry of External Affairs has, with Gateway House, co-hosted the two-day event which began in Mumbai yesterday. Mr Akbar also recalled that the Taj hotel was a key site of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. He added that economic growth in itself is not enough.

    The poorest should be the first beneficiaries of economic growth. This is what the Modi government has been trying to achieve in the last over two years. Nationalism is not only xenophobia. Nationalism has some very powerful positive aspects to it. Akbar’s counterpart from Bangladesh, Shahriar Alam, said as a student, he was an avid reader of the Sunday magazine, then edited by Mr Akbar. Mr Alam spoke of the ‘weakening’ of Islamic State terror group but cautioned against being complacent over this. Bangladesh hopes to join the league of developed nations by 2041.