Saarc Failure Reasons

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  • Topic: South Asia, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Asia
  • Pages : 8 (3107 words )
  • Download(s) : 376
  • Published : November 18, 2012
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South Asia is the poorest, the most illiterate, the most malnourished, the least gender sensitive and the most deprived region of the world. It contains about 22% of the world’s total population. Nearly 40% of the world’s poor live in this region. About 35% of the population is living with daily income of less than one dollar. Almost all the countries of this region are facing similar problems like poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, diseases, income inequality, low productivity and dependence on agricultural sector. Thus the socio-economic condition of this region as a whole is in shambles. In order to deal with this the union of seven South Asian countries was established in 1985 in Colombo. It was named “South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)” after dedicating to economic, technological and cultural development programs among its member countries which are Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, while Afghanistan joined this association later in 2007. Initially SAARC was established to retreat and up hold the peace in the south Asia region and create the opportunities of interaction between member countries. Later on strategies were made consisting of five prime objectives i.e. better communication, smooth the progress of trade and investment, expand tourism, assistance in power and energy sector, and endorse private sector. Prof. Samuel Huntington in his book "The Clash of Civilisations" states that SAARC is a failure. He thinks that unlike the countries that belong to other such associations, like the European Economic Community, for example, SAARC countries do not belong to one civilisation. According to him the people in the region belong to two civilisations, namely Hindu and Islamic. The Buddhists in the Theravada countries do not belong to any civilisation, as according to the definition of civilisation used by Prof. Huntington, there is no Buddhist civilisation. The Mahayana Buddhists are fortunate enough to belong to a civilisation, not due to Buddhism but because they belong to Confucian and Japanese civilisations. The western sociologists will never think that there is something wrong with their definition of civilisation, which leaves out so many people, and their golas will never question their definition. So the Theravada Buddhists, by definition, are in search of a civilisation! After all it is the western sociologists who tell us who belongs to which civilisation. Irrespective of the definition of civilisation there may be something in what Prof. Huntington has to say. We do not have the feeling of belonging to one region, and in our respective countries very often we do not have a common bondage of belonging to one particular country. The western political scientists may say that the latter phenomenon is due to the fact that we are still in the process of nation building. However it emanates from the policies of the British who ruled us. But Social, technological, economic sector, poverty eradication and trade were major issues faced by SAARC. To overcome the economic and poverty problems in 1993, its member countries signed an agreement, South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), for reducing tariff within the region. This agreement was implemented in 2006, the member countries agreed to bring tariff duties down by 20% up to 2009. Ever since its formation in 1985, 14 summits of this organization were held and a number of agreements were also signed, however, the plight of the region has not changed so far and as such the organization as a whole has failed miserably to make any significant headway pertaining to the development of the region. . However, SAARC is not that much successful in resolving economic problems or addressing political conflicts in South Asia. It is due to the reason that the prospect of united economy is greatly ignored among its member states. The prime causes are the lack of harmonize interest and the tragedy of intra-stat conflict among...
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