Bhopal: Describing India as pivotal power of Asia, Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar has said that 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 was delivering a lecture on ‘India’s rising power in Asia and the challenges’, organised by Jammu and Kashmir Study Centre, Madhya Pradesh, here. Pointing to a map of the world, Akbar said if a line was drawn in the middle, it can be seen that the countries on the east were nursing the ambition of economic prosperity, while those in the west were reeling under a hot wave of terrorism.

India’s role is very important in stopping this wave of terrorism, which will be in the interest of the world, he said. War cannot be a solution to any problem and it is a fact that whoever started the war has never won it, he said.

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his call for ‘Look East’, Akbar said such a policy was needed because India had to rise economically with the East Asian countries. 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.