India-Pak stand offs obstacle to SAARC efficacy: Fmr Indian Ambassador
CUK, MeA conduct joint venture
Srinagar, Aug 22: Former Indian Ambassador to Brazil, Switzerland and Vatican, Shri Amitava Tripathi today said the single biggest obstacle to South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC’s) efficacy as a regional body has been the frequent stand-offs between its two largest members, India and Pakistan.
While delivering a lecture to the faculty and students of the Central University of Kashmir (CUK) at its Sonwar block on the theme, “India and SAARC: Challenges in Building A Prosperous Neighborhood”, Shri Tripathi said “The reality of as many as five of the eight members of SAARC being Least Developed Countries, three being land-locked and two being Island nations, continue to be a significant impediments to economic integration,”
Shri Amitava Tripathi was flanked by the Officiating Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mehraj-ud-Din, Dean School of Languages, Prof. Muhammad Aslam, Registrar, Prof. M Afzal Zargar. Deans of other Schools, Coordinators of Departments, and officers from the senior administrative staff were also present on the occasion.
Shri Tripathi enumerated several factors that are preventing SAARC from being a meaningful organization. These factors include: “The asymmetries existing between its largest member, India, and the rest of the membership in terms of resources and capacities. Exaggerated apprehension about India often prevents the smaller members from taking full advantage of the vast market opportunities it offers and undue restrictions on movement of goods, capital and people, absolutely essential for regional integration. Centrality of India involves unresolved border issues and ethnic communities split by border drawn by the former colonial rule. Poor quality of governance in many of the member states despite democracy finally gaining ground in the region as a whole. Role of non-state actor, often heavily armed operating in difficult terrains with or without encouragement from State agencies, is frustrating developmental and cooperative activities. At times, these even succeed in disrupting normal inter-state relations and in sabotaging well-intentioned initiatives. Lastly, pervasive and widespread poverty exacerbated by inadequate educational and health facilities is contributing to SAARC’s hiccupped performance. It is indeed regrettable that well over 30 per cent of South Asia lives in dire poverty, often in conditions worse than sub-Saharan Africa.”
CUK Officiating Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mehraj-ud-Din also dwelt on the topic and underscored the need of strengthening the SAARC for the benefit of the people of South Asia.
Registrar, Prof. M Afzal Zargar coordinated the whole event and gave a comprehensive detail about the functioning of the CUK. Controller Examination, Dr. Nazir A Gilkar presented the vote of thanks.
The lecture was followed by highly interactive question answer session.