IS SAARC BECOMING LESS IMPORTANT?
Amidst high security, Dhaka is preparing for the 2nd time in this year to host the postponed 13th SAARC Summit. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established in 1985 with great visions. The founding leaders had visualized economic self-reliance for the Seven member countries where poverty is a persistent problem. With a combined population of over 1.4 billion, the economically developing region faces multifarious problems. Removing trade barriers, visa free travel and other cooperation are on the cards but these have not been possible to implement because of many reasons and reluctance of some members. This could have been a strong union like EU as every fifth man or woman on earth is a South Asian if the subsequent leaders adhered to those visions.
Instead it has become a obligatory affair where many countries are sending second fiddles as head of the delegates. Pakistan, India and Bhutan will not be sending their head of states. Some Nepali politicians are arguing that the Nepali King his Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev should not attend the summit as the chief of the mission.
Some are being optimistic:
"SAARC has not been a success, but holding the Summit itself would be a positive move for the region."
Undoubtedly bigger nations like India and Pakistan hold the key to make SAARC successfull or inactive. Let us keep our fingers crossed.