South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation was formed in 1985 having eight member states. It was formed to enhance economic and political cooperation in South Asia. Sadly, it is not that much effective and could not achieve its goals. The main reason in this regard is the negative role of India.
India is the biggest state in South Asia. It has vibrant economy and strong military. In regards of SAARC, India played and is still playing a negative role. Why India is doing so? Well, answer is very simple and that is its ideology of greater India. India has always enmity with Pakistan and is doing propaganda against Pakistan by using Afghanistan’s soil. The traditional rivalry between India and Pakistan is the main reason behind the failure of SAARC.
In resent history, Pakistan has played its every part to normalize the situation but India is lacking behind. Moreover, Kashmir issue is the another reason of rivalry between two states which needs a permanent solution.
India has real potential to play a positive role but India needs to think about regional well being first. Second, regional issue should be solved thoroughly which will bring these eight states close to each other. Third, ASEAN is good example for SAARC where those states moved forward to achieve regional well being. Forth, focus should be on common problems. Fifth, political and military leadership should develop close connections so that both economic and security goals may achieve. Sixth, non-traditional issues should be resolved for the regional growth.
South Asia has potential to become the leading region of the World. Only need is to address problems and avail opportunities. India is following the policy of Greater India but its negative actions are causing the failure of SAARC. Resolving common problems would lead the rebirth of SAARC and regional growth.
Author: Usama Hijazi