South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

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  • 'China in SAARC? To What Effect?': A Pakistani Perspective

    The debate on giving the People's Republic of China full membership of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is primarily seen in the context of positive and negative thinking. While China has an observer status in SAARC along with Australia, the EU, Japan, Iran, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Korea and the United States, its case for full membership is primarily advocated by Nepal and Pakistan but not supported by India.

    May 2011

    'China in SAARC? To What Effect?':A Comment

    There is a common tendency among analysts and policy makers to compare SAARC with the EU and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). This is not fair. There are significant differences among these three regional groupings. Geo-strategically India looms too large in SAARC in a manner incomparable with Indonesia in ASEAN or Germany and France in the EU. Economically, SAARC started with a poor economic base and there were no large investments from outsiders like in ASEAN and the EU to boost economic cooperation.

    May 2011

    China in SAARC? Too Early to Worry: A Response to 'China in SAARC? To What Effect?' by Sujit Dutta

    Professor Sujit Dutta's article, ‘China in SAARC? To What Effect?’ has made an excellent case for the desirability of regionalism as it offers public commons to members of such institutions. Indeed the EU and ASEAN are prime examples of such cooperation as they generate political, economic and security benefits for their members, though to different degrees.

    May 2011

    China in SAARC? To What Effect?

    Over the past few years there has been a move by some of the member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to induct China into the regional organisation. China, in turn, has indicated its desire to join. Since other extra-regional states were also keen to be involved, SAARC has opened its doors since 2007 for out-of region states through a new arrangement.

    May 2011

    SAARC at Twenty-Five: An Incredible Idea Still in Its Infancy

    The SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) summit is often described as being a mere photo opportunity for south Asian leaders who should actually be using the comatose organisation to reinvent regional cooperation in a globalised world. Such pessimism is inevitable if one takes stock of the progress that SAARC has made over the period of time. There exists a SAARC convention to deal with all issues that have a certain salience in the regional context.

    September 2010

    Time to Redeem SAARC

    While the world community is trying its best to provide help to flood affected Pakistan in spite of aid fatigue, SAARC is conspicuous by its absence.

    August 20, 2010

    SAARC at 25: Time to Reflect

    Instead of taking up new areas in its summit declarations, SAARC should focus on trade, connectivity and security and the need to develop a regional identity. Only a regional identity will generate a regional approach.

    May 07, 2010

    Can SAARC hold the Regional Dream?

    SAARC has in recent years attracted wide international attention and generated much interest among countries that now hold Observer status. The 15th Summit held in Colombo on August 2 – 3, 2008 renewed its pledge to take SAARC from a declaratory to the implementation stage. Four agreements were signed at the Summit on mutual assistance to address criminal activities, trade, combating terrorism and climate change. The theme of the 41-point Colombo Declaration announced at the end of the Summit was “Partnership for Growth for Our People.”

    August 07, 2008

    Making Sense of Regional Cooperation: SAARC at Twenty

    The South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) completed two decades of its existence in 2005. Yet it has only made modest progress in achieving its regional goals. The reasons for this are many. Successful regionalism requires a shared faith in collective gains and a vision for long-term cooperation that has been missing. There has been a visible lack of trust among some of the principal actors, a preponderance of domestic political consideration and a strong sensitivity towards sovereignty that has prevented collective action and gains from cooperation.

    January 2006

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