Saarc Failure Reasons

Topics: South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, South Asia, Sri Lanka Pages: 5 (1732 words) Published: May 13, 2012


1.SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) was stablished on 8th December,1985 by seven countries of Asia named as Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka, while Afghanistan joined this association later in 2007. The headquarters of SAARC are Katmandu and Nepal. 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. The main purpose of the founders of this association is to increase the progress of economic and social development in member states,through joint action in the agreed areas of cooperation. Later on strategies were trimmed down and 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. To overcome its basic issues, ie 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. However, SAARC is not that much successful in resolving economic problems or addressing political conflicts in South Asia.

Why SAARC has been a failure?

2.Why SAARC has failed to come true to the expectations of the people like any other regional organization of the world and why it could not help the region to assume peace and development, these are some of the issues which are to be discussed as under:-

a) Clash of civilizations. Prof. Samuel Huntington in his book "The Clash of Civilisations" states that SAARC has been a failure because according to him the countries that belong to other such associations, like the European Union (EU) etc they belong to same culture but, SAARC belongs to those countries whose cultures are different. According to him the people in the region belong to two main civilisations, namely Hindu and Islamic. In South Asia countries do not have a feeling of belonging to one region. One might say before we get that feeling we should learn to think as citizens belonging to our respective countries. But it is not possible to wait till all such problems have been solved in the individual countries before they attempt to organise themselves as committed members of SAARC. SAARC has failed to achieve much because it is confined only to a few and is being built on the model of western economic associations. Millions of people living in this region are unaware that the SAARC summit is taking place at this very moment in Colombo. How can the people get a feeling of belonging to South Asia under such circumstances. The contact of the people with the association is zero and as well as with the people of the member countries. they don’t know when was the association made and that was the purpose then how can they join together to help their own state solve their problems. SAARC has been created artificially from above without any involvement of the people. The cultural ties that exist in the region have been forgotten. Only a few who belong to the educated caste think of themselves as South Asians. In fact they only think as South Asians, and do not feel as such. They are happy with propagating the ideas created in the west. To be successful SAARC has to concentrate on culture first. Western style Economics only creates suspicion. Let us decide on the type of development we need and then create theories in Economics and other fields, relative to our cultures, with the participation of more concerned people.

(b) Indo-centric region. The second and very important reason for the failure of the SAARC to achieve the desired results is the Indo-Centric nature of the region. In terms of territory, population, natural resources, military might and economic...
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