06 October 2016
Five countries are boycotting the SAARC summit in Pakistan. Instead, South Asian countries need to adopt a multi-pronged approach to reinvigorate economic integration in their region including a ‘SAARC minus x’ scheme along the ASEAN model.
Inia and four other countries have pulled out of the 19th summit of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to be held in Islamabad in November. India’s action was taken in the wake of the Uri attack on 18 September 2016 in the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir. Similar actions by Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka have led commentators to opine that “SAARC is dead”.
According to the SAARC charter, a summit of the eight-member grouping cannot be held even if one member pulls out; this time five members have done so. The inability to hold summits is not, however, something new in the SAARC. Summits have either not been held or postponed in roughly half of the years that the grouping has been in existence. The main reason for this is the conflict between nuclear-powered India and Pakistan. But SAARC is resilient and eventually diplomacy will prevail and the summits will resume as in the past, if intermittently.
… Pradumna B. Rana is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the International Political Economy Programme in the Centre for Multilateralism Studies (CMS) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
CMS / GPO / Online
Last updated on 06/10/2016