Foreign Policy Watch: India-SAARC Nations

[op-ed snap] The SAARC gambit

  1. Theme: India along with Afghanistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh has pulled out of the forthcoming SAARC summit in an effort to diplomatically isolate Pakistan.
  2. A brief background: This decision was prompted by a number of reasons. First, Pakistan has blocked all SAARC protocols to better link the region (the SAARC Motor Vehicles Agreement and the SAARC Regional Railways Agreement)
  3. Second, Pakistan’s failure to comply with diplomatic protocols in recently hosted meetings such as recently in Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit.
  4. No action on terror – The Pathankot and Uri attack. Pakistan refused to even issue a statement condemning the Uri attack.
  5. Impact on SAARC: Will cause serious damage to the multilateral process and raise questions about the future and relevance of SAARC.
  6. Founding principles of SAARC: Fighting the common ills of the region together i.e. low intra-regional trade, working around bilateral tensions in the subcontinent, infrastructure, sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
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