South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of states in South Asia. Its member states are AfghanistanBangladeshBhutanIndia, the MaldivesNepalPakistan and Sri Lanka. The SAARC comprises 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 4.21% (US$3.67 trillion)[3] of the global economy, as of 2019.

The SAARC was founded in Dhaka on 8 December 1985.[4] Its secretariat is based in KathmanduNepal. The organization promotes development of economic and regional integration.[5] It launched the South Asian Free Trade Area in 2006.[6] The SAARC maintains permanent diplomatic relations at the United Nations as an observer and has developed links with multilateral entities, including the European Union Officially, the union was established in Dhaka with Kathmandu being the union’s secretariat-general.[13] The first SAARC summit was held in Dhaka on 7–8 December 1985 and hosted by the President of Bangladesh Hussain Ershad.[14] The declaration signed by King of Bhutan Jigme Singye Wangchuk, President of Pakistan Zia-ul-Haq, Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi, King of Nepal Birendra Shah, President of Sri Lanka JR Jayewardene, and President of Maldives Maumoon Gayoom.

The member states are AfghanistanBangladeshBhutanIndia, the MaldivesNepalPakistan, and Sri Lanka.[23]

The SAARC was founded by seven states in 1985. In 2005, Afghanistan began negotiating their accession to SAARC and formally applied for membership in the same year.[24][25] The issue of Afghanistan joining SAARC generated a great deal of debate in each member state, including concerns about the definition of South Asian identity[26] because Afghanistan is considered a Central Asian country, while it is neither accepted as a Middle Eastern country, nor as a Central Asian country, or as part of the Indian subcontinent, other than being only in part of South Asia.[27]

The SAARC member states imposed a stipulation for Afghanistan to hold a general election; the non-partisan elections were held in late 2005.[26] Despite initial reluctance and internal debates, Afghanistan joined the SAARC as its eighth member state in April 2007.[26][28]

.

SAARC summits[edit]

Main article: List of SAARC summits

No Date Country Host Host leader
1st 7–8 December 1985 Bangladesh Dhaka Ataur Rahman Khan
2nd 16–17 November 1986 India Bengaluru Rajiv Gandhi
3rd 2–4 November 1987 Nepal Kathmandu King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah
4th 29–31 December 1988 Pakistan Islamabad Benazir Bhutto
5th 21–23 November 1990 Maldives Malé Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
6th 21 December 1991 Sri Lanka Colombo Ranasinghe Premadasa
7th 10–11 April 1993 Bangladesh Dhaka Khaleda Zia
8th 2–4 May 1995 India New Delhi P V Narasimha Rao
9th 12–14 May 1997 Maldives Malé Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
10th 29–31 July 1998 Sri Lanka Colombo Chandrika Kumaratunga
11th 4–6 January 2002 Nepal Kathmandu Sher Bahadur Deuba
12th 2–6 January 2004 Pakistan Islamabad Zafarullah Khan Jamali
13th 12–13 November 2005 Bangladesh Dhaka Khaleda Zia
14th 3–4 April 2007 India New Delhi Manmohan Singh
15th 1–3 August 2008 Sri Lanka Colombo Mahinda Rajapaksa
16th 28–29 April 2010 Bhutan Thimphu Jigme Thinley
17th 10–11 November 2011 Maldives Addu Mohammed Nasheed
18th 26–27 November 2014[69] Nepal Kathmandu Sushil Koirala
19th 15–16 November 2016 Pakistan Islamabad Cancelled
20th N/A N/A N/A N/A


Post Views: 38