The Hindu Newspaper Analysis – 13 January 2021

Reviving SAARC

  • SAARC or the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is regional association of South Asian nations that was formed in 1985 at Dhaka in Bangladesh and is currently headquartered in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Its members include:
    • India
    • Pakistan
    • Afghanistan
    • Nepal
    • Bhutan
    • Bangladesh
    • Sri Lanka
    • Maldives
  • It has been 30 years since the SAARC was formed and it has been 6 years SAARC as a grouping has met. India has quite a crucial role to play here as India has not participated in any of the summits as a result, the summits have not happened.
  • India has not participated in these as it has been on the crossroads with Pakistan due to the terror issue and ceasefire violations in this regard. Due to these issues the region was able to be represented as a united front, rather was called as a divided front in this regard.
  • 2020 has come forward with many problems like the pandemic and the border intrusions from other nations and India needs proper support in this regard.
  • A hypocritical stance of India has been provided by the author where India has participated in the SCO or the Shanghai cooperation organization summit even when it has had border problems with china, also Pakistan is a member of this, India also took part in the RIC (Russia India China) trilateral and G20 summit. India has also tried to mend ties Nepal even though the relations have been strained.
  • India has to revive SAARC as it would be helpful in various avenues, especially in fighting the pandemic, in the South Asian region as it has its own unique issues and ecosystem.
  • A proper coordination is needed as South Asia has countries that low performing when it comes to the GDP and 10.77 million jobs have been lost which accounted for 22% fall in revenue for migrant labors and expatriates.
  • The tourism for the south Asian countries is wide and big and the countries have to come together to revive it, they should put up a united front for other aspects like migrant issues, the pandemic among others.
  • They have to prioritize three things majorly like food security, health security and job security for the people.
  • The impact of COVID 19 has been witnessed on a large scale and countries are seeming to move towards a native regime while having a distaste for globalization.
  • This is not entirely viable for the nations as they would have to fall on the regional forums like SAARC first and these forums act as a goldilocks zone and provide a global balance.
  • There are various regional agreements like AFCTA, MERCOUSOR or even RCEP but India is not a part of any hence its needs SAARC as it has the SAFTA or the South Asian Free trade agreement.
  • SAARC will also be a measure for them to shield themselves against Chinese intrusions, also deal with the border menace off Pakistan and Nepal.
  • China’s membership in SAARC has been widely debated but India has always refrained from allowing the same as it doesn’t consider China a south Asian nation, china is currently an observer and if India continues to do the same then it will only be a matter of time that China will be a member and India will be ousted.
  • Hence, we need to revive SAARC as we have already done the health diplomacy part, now we need other kings to make sure we are building against despondency and grievances. Also, it will help us deal with China well.

Gulf Reconciliation

  • The Al Ula conclave held will be a new step between the Arab nations as it aims to normalize the relations between the Gulf Cooperation Council countries namely Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, and Qatar.
  • In 2017 these nations had a diplomatic embargo Qatar total boycott through air, sea and land. The reasons were various but the most important one was destabilizing the region with support from Islamists groups.
  • The countries provided Qatar with 13 demands which included cutting ties with the Islamic brotherhood which is a political organization, also cut ties with nations like Turkey and Iran which are Shia nations while GCC is dominated by Sunni nations.
  • Qatar viewed these demands as an encroachment on their sovereignty and hence rejected the same post which they faced huge resentment and boycott also shrill incentives on national media that even included threats.
  • After this several changes were seen in the regional geopolitics of the region.
  • Now we are seeing that there is going to be re-alignment and reconciliation the possible reason can be as follows:
    • The Biden regime is going to focus on Saudi Arabia dismal human rights record and its war with Yemen. The crown prince Mohamed Bin Salman is anxious to project his conciliatory approach with Qatar ahead of the USA.
    • Likewise, the other nations have their own vested interests in doing so which is their discretion.
  • All in all, it can be said that this Al Ula conclave will bring great developments in the region also it will trigger the emergence of new regional order in the Gulf also in West Asia.

Also read : The Hindu Newspaper Analysis – 12 January 2021

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Reset Password