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Priya Juneja asked: How could SAARC engage itself with a strife-torn Afghanistan?

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  • S.D. Muni replies: SAARC has no institutional mechanism to help Afghanistan directly in its internal strife, except activating and sincerely implementing the SAARC provisions on counter-terrorism. But this is not possible without Pakistan's active and honest cooperation. However, SAARC can help Afghanistan transform the conflict and eventually resolve it through economic softening, again, if Pakistan agrees to join the SAARC mechanism in connecting India with Afghanistan physically and facilitates trade and investment. This will help the economy of strife-torn south-eastern Afghanistan to grow and provide creative alternate opportunities to those who are affected by and prospering on conflict. This will also help Pakistan economy to become more dynamic. Greater sub-regional economic integration will provide win-win solutions to the individual and collective socio-economic and political challenges to all the three countries: India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Greater South Asian connectivity will also further boost economic opportunities for Afghanistan as well as Pakistan and India in Central Asia.

    Posted on May 2, 2014