Opinion: Exploring the possibility for the formation of the South Asian Union
India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka are the prime South Asian countries. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the organisation which binds these countries together. There are many who believe that the formation of a South Asian Union, just like the European Union, will do wonders to the political, social and economic lives of those living in the South Asian region.
What makes it an impossible achievement is the unhealthy relation between some countries in the South Asian region. The relation between India and Pakistan, as well as between Pakistan and Afghanistan, is not perfect.
It is important to understand one thing that the two powerful European Union countries, France and Germany, which played a crucial role in the formation of the EU, was not in a good relation with each other when they reached an economic agreement in the 1950s to improve their coal and steel business (that economic agreement – European Coal and Steel Community – is what that has slowly transformed into the present European Union. The problem between Indian and Pakistan, as well as between Pakistan and Afghanistan, is not greater than the problem between France and Germany during the 1950s.
If the South Asian countries come forward with a sincere mind, they can easily form a better union than the present EU, which has several shortcomings.
Most South Asian countries share similar cultural, political and social experiences, unlike the countries in the EU.
The SAARC is a perfect beginning. Serious effort should be put to transform this union to the prefect economic union –then, to the perfect political union.
The future of the South Asia lies in its capability to eliminate its internal difference and to transform itself into a conductive framework.
Vignesh. S. G
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