Drawing new South Asia is trespassing into Central Asia
By Svetlana Abdulev
The idea of Pakistani politicians for adding Central Asian republics into the fold of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has been seen critically in Central Asian republics.
Central Asian diplomatic circles believe that Pakistan has been bogged down diplomatically in South Asia by Indian diplomacy and now it wishes to include Central Asian republics in dark politics of South Asia by offering inclusion of Central Asian republics in a diplomatic forum that by name represents only South Asia.
“Pakistan is selling an idea to include Central Asian states into South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) because SAARC summit in Pakistan was cancelled when India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan boycotted to attend the event due to certain regional issues. The 19th summit was scheduled to be held in Islamabad on November 15, 2016.
“Pakistan must work to change the name of this forum and delete words “South Asia” from its name and then it should offer this forum to Central Asian countries”, said Jarar Ahmedev a student of diplomacy in state institute of Bishkek.
It may be mentioned that South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of nations in South Asia. Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Political observers of Central Asia believe that Pakistan has seen that SAARC has become a platform steered by Indian diplomats and now Pakistan has no option left with him just to leave SAARC or try to include other countries those can be helpful for Pakistan diplomatically.
The idea of a greater South Asia was pitched by a parliamentary delegation from Pakistan in Washington last week.
Political observers of Central Asia also rejected notion given by Pakistani delegation that a greater South Asia is already emerging and this greater South Asia includes China, Iran and the neighbouring Central Asian republics.
Observers believe that this notion was contrary to historical and social perspectives of Central Asia. They believe that certain countries of South Asia are part of Eurasia but Central Asia cannot be considered a part of South Asia.
Central Asian countries are already worried due to inclusion of arch rivals India and Pakistan into Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and now Pakistan moves forward to drawing a new South Asia by forgetting the reality that Central Asian had been ruling South Asia historically and if South Asia wishes to become a part of Central Asia then it should be Central Asia as head and South Asia as limbs.
The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.