South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

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  • Transforming Eastern South Asia: Relevance of BIMSTEC

    Of late the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is receiving sincere attention from its member countries as an organisation that has the potential to transform the region’s political and economic future. This is because there are several bilateral and sub-regional ongoing projects that are seeking to connect the region and bind them together into one economic whole. Apart from this, after the cancellation of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) summit in 2017, many would see the BIMSTEC as an alternative to SAARC.

    July 2018

    South Asian ‘Zombie’: The futility of reviving SAARC

    Given the structural fragility of SAARC and its inability to promote South Asian regional integration, an attempt to reboot the organisation would be futile.

    May 01, 2018

    Ajinkya Bankar asked: Is there any difference between South Asia and Indian Subcontinent? Is it one and the same?

    Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: There is an overlap between the two. However, they are different. Indian subcontinent is a subset of South Asia, as much as both are subsets of the Asian continent.

    As a geographical expression, Indian subcontinent encompassed the British colonial administrative unit called India, which comprised of the present day states of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Till 1936, Burma (now Myanmar) was also part of British India, but was not considered part of the subcontinent.

    Bhavani asked: Does ‘SAARC minus Pakistan’ hold a better chance of addressing South Asia's many challenges?

    Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: The prime challenge for SAARC and South Asia is how to engender effective economic and security cooperation to boost regional prosperity and development.

    Cancellation of the SAARC Summit: Has India Succeeded in Isolating Pakistan Regionally?

    Cancellation of the SAARC Summit

    The reactions of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and India indicate a new regional consensus that state sponsored terrorism cannot be dealt with only at the bilateral level.

    September 29, 2016

    Satellite for SAARC: Pakistan’s Missed Opportunity

    Satellite for SAARC: Pakistan’s Missed Opportunity

    SAARC satellite was an opportunity for Pakistan to display its enthusiasm for space cooperation with India, but its strategic calculations appear to have ‘jammed’ its vision.

    April 19, 2016

    Pokhara Parleys: Efforts to Connect SAARC

    Pokhara Parleys: Efforts to Connect SAARC

    While India may wait for full cooperation of other member countries to make SAARC a success, it must take the initiative for forging more agreements in matters concerning economic and social cooperation.

    March 22, 2016

    The Nepal Earthquake: Could SAARC have been Effective?

    The Nepal Earthquake: Could SAARC have been Effective?

    In spite of the existence since October 2006 of a SAARC Disaster Management Centre, the Nepal earthquake brought to the fore the difficulties faced by this organization and its failure to rise to the occasion.

    June 02, 2015

    Let’s Partition SAARC

    Let’s Partition SAARC

    The time has perhaps come to restructure, even partition, SAARC to make it more effective. This is something that might also be required to be done in the likely event that Pakistan fosters the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    November 28, 2014