Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC): Prospects for Development

Recently, the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) completed two decades of its existence. The heads of states or governments of its member countries, viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, once again would meet in Dhaka and reaffirm their faith in the organisation and its charter. Considering the political reality within the individual SAARC nations, and especially the relationship between the two biggest members of the association, one could feel satisfied that the association has survived so far. But its movement in terms of achieving the objectives for which it was formed has been slow and it is criticised as a house of cards or a house built on sand, which can fall apart any time. There is a big stress in the interrelationship between neighbours.

Dwarika Dhungel