Can SAARC become a vibrant regional organisation?

If Pakistan and India pursue good ties, SAARC can turn into a platform for seeking solutions to regional problems.

Zahid Gishkori January 03, 2013
I tried to find the answer to a question at a South Asian Association Regional Cooperation (SAARC) conference recently held in Islamabad.

After meeting representatives of Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and the Maldives, I can say that yes, SAARC can be an effective regional organisation.

But its bright future depends upon good relations between the two nuclear neighbours - India and Pakistan.

In my opinion, if Pakistan and India pursue good ties, keeping in view long-standing trade relations, then SAARC can turn into a mega platform for seeking solutions to regional problems.

Being a representative of Pakistan at the SAARC media fellowship, I observed that SAARC’s economic, social and political viability has been questioned for decades only because of the decades-old hostility between New Delhi and Islamabad.

My purpose is not to blame New Delhi or Islamabad in this regard but only to suggest to these two neighbours that this is the prime time for both to proceed with business relations, especially in the aftermath of the new visa agreement.

I noticed that the representatives of SAARC Information Centre took a baby step towards fostering cooperation among the SAARC states. They (the participants) decided to promote their cultures through short documentaries, which appear to be a pioneer step taken by SAARC Information Centre (SIC).

An important question arises here that if SIC, a small department of SAARC can take small but a positive step then why not the top leadership of SAARC?

In a nutshell, I think that SAARC states, with effort of Pakistan and India, can press for greater political and economic integration, similar to the European Union or the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Cessation of hostilities is a must.

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WRITTEN BY:
Zahid Gishkori
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (10)

Gratgy | 8 years ago | Reply @Anti-India The Indian are biggest Hippocratic We all take the Hippocratic Oath when we are born. Lol!
Democracy | 8 years ago | Reply @ Anti-indian- indians are not hypocrite or something , if you hate us ,its your opinion and i respect that so leave it. India is vibrant 3rd largest economy of the Asia so it needs more prosperous nation Viz. european union and US . i fear not pakistan what we should trade with you people. i dunt find any technology or path breaking stufs from pakistan .with 70 percent of your economy is black indians might fear about your skill of handling business. India future lies with prosperous ties with china, japan ASEAN .. PAKISTAN are u kiddin me :)
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