Is the Saarc Having a Future? - A Critical Review
Indian government’s initiatives and its diplomatic offensive have been able to isolate Pakistan on the world
forum, including among SAARC Nations. Islamabad is exploring the possibility of creating a greater South Asian economic
alliance to include China, Iran and neighbouring Central Asian countries. Pakistan described the China-Pakistan economic
corridor as the key economic route linking South Asia with Central Asia.
This was the first time that four countries, India, Afghanistan, Bhutan & Bangladesh announced to boycott a SAARC
summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November, 2016. India’s announcement not attending the summit underlined
the growing irrelevance of the SAARC for India’s regionalism. Irrespective of India’s future relations with Pakistan, the
Indian government’s search for alternatives to SAARC acquired a new momentum. As SAARC seems to be heading for the
mortuary, India should take initiatives and let the BIMSTEC leaders know that the meltdown of SAARC does not mean
India is giving up the ambitions of its neighbor-hood first strategy. In this direction, giving the BIMSTEC a more attractive
name “BOBCOM” (The Bay of Bengal Community? is already under way and if the negative attitude of Pakistan persists,
hopefully India will be able to find an alternative to the SAARC and establish BOBCOM by isolating Pakistan.
Index terms- SAARC, Summit, SAARC Nations, Boycott of Pakistan, Regional Cooperation, Islamabad, China-Pakistan
Economic Corridor, BIMSTEC, BOBCOM.