Regional Integration in South Asia

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Following a series of meetings aimed at reaching a consensus, an initiative by Bangladesh led to the signing of the SAARC Charter by seven states on 8th December 1985. The structure formed by the SAARC Charter shaped a compact and strongly institutionalized base for the association. Four levels of decision-making with their subsequent implementation at the lower levels were established. The uppermost level encompasses summit meetings of the Heads of State and Prime Ministers. The SAARC member countries include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Afghanistan is the eighth member of the SAARC.

The South Asian region is of strategic significance between the east and west concerning defense, trade, transport, population growth, and financial growth. Internationally, regionalism has come to be extensively acknowledged as a principal framework for economic development through cooperative engagement, predominantly in the context of spreading globalization.

 

SAARC is one such manifestation of an increasingly interdependent world. The idea behind the formulation of SAARC was to encourage peace, harmony, and financial growth through the collaboration of South Asian states. It also aimed at sharing the accessible resources, building trust among parties, and enabling partnership through dialogue and communication between leaders. South Asia is a region intricately knitted together with a shared history, culture, people-to-people contacts, and religious traditions. The SAARC region, with its nearly 1.5 billion inhabitants makes up a substantial portion of the world’s population, and in any case, its position on the border with China places it at the heart of a vivacious world region. Notwithstanding the few critics who argue that the exclusion of bilateral issues is hindering the success of the organization,  this multilateral institution has enormous potential to mitigate social and financial issues in the region.  For the last 36 years of its existence, SAARC has had some notable achievements in terms of lessening poverty,

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