Scholars at a roundtable discussion here sharply certified India for their attempts to hegemonise SAARC by isolating Pakistan. This was the unanimous view of the experts at the one-day roundtable on “Regional Implications of Indian Hegemony in SAARC” organized by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute. (IPRI)
President IPRI Ambassador (R) Sohail Amin said that Pakistan has done its utmost to resolve its disputes with India peacefully, and is ready to hold dialogue with it. “But it is Indiawhich negates dialogue based on various petty reasons and is lingering on the Kashmir dispute to maintain the status quo”, he emphasised. By sabotaging the 19th SAARC Summit that was to be held in Pakistan in November 2016, India has violated the spirit and objectives of SAARC, he added. [Dr. Mujeeb Afzal of Quaid-I-Azam University. Said, “India is a status inconsistent state,” it is perceived as a regional hegemon, while globally it wants to present a docile strategic posture through its soft diplomacy. At the international level, India is pushing its non-violence and neutrality punch sheet, while at the regional level, it is the polar opposite, using coercion and intervention over its smaller neighbors. SAARC as a regional institution has become a victim of competing apprehensions as well as Indian hegemony. But this hegemony has primarily failed since India’s efforts to keep third parties, such as China outside the South Asian realm have failed.
Ambassador (R) FauziaNasreen, COMSATS, Islamabad discussed the“Politico-Economic and Security Implications of Indian Hegemony in the SAARC Region.” Ms Salma Malik from Quaid-i-Azam University. debated inclusion of Afghanistan into SAARC. While on the plus side, the body now has an opportunity to link up with Central Asia, but, the fallout has been that given Kabul’s unfriendly ties with Islamabad, it can and does gang up with India against Pakistan.