India undermines SAARC

PRIME Minister Nawaz Sharif who is on a 3-day official visit to Maldives made a very pertinent reference to the SAARC organisation while addressing a joint news conference with President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. Very categorically he stated that India has undermined the regional organisation and its charter.
The prime minister, who since assuming the office, has been very careful in selection of words vis-à-vis relations with neighbouring countries including India despite belligerence on the other side. Many have also appreciated his vision of peaceful neighbourhood, yet PM’s statement in Malay cannot be described mere as an accusation as it has a complete background. Following tension in relations between the two countries, India not only opted to boycott the SAARC summit due to be held in November last year in Islamabad but also forced some other regional countries to follow its footprints. All this exposes the hegemonic designs of Modi junta. SAARC in fact was established with the purpose to promote regional cooperation in different spheres including trade and economy but the rivalry between Pakistan and India has undermined efforts to promote regional cooperation and address chronic problems such as poverty, illiteracy and deprivation facing the region. Disagreements have made consensus building and cooperation among SAARC states complicated. It is time that the South Asian nations while addressing their long standing disputes in a peaceful manner follow the shining examples of organisations such as ASEAN and SCO to realise the objectives for which the SAARC was established. In this regard, India, being a big country, will have to demonstrate more maturity and shun the idea of brow beating smaller nations. By working together as equal partners, the member countries can really make the SAARC which houses more than twenty percent of the world population a really vibrant and effective organisation – the one that focuses more on economic and trade cooperation in order to steer the region out of poverty and deprivation.

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