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Pakistan envisions greater SAARC to sideline India

SAARC

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With the passage of time, the Indo-Pak conflict is strengthening quite enormously instead of settling down. Things are not looking good in the longer run with the tensions mounting every day. Where India is doing her best to isolate Pakistan, Pakistan is also looking for ways to counter Indian aggression. Pakistan raised an important point to make a new regional arrangement; the Greater SAARC, in Washington last week.

Considering the fact that India has a strong hold on South Asian Association for Regional Corporation, the Parliamentary delegate, on its visit to Washington, came up with this idea, to counter India’s controlling hold on the member nations. India has already announced to boycott the SAARC summit which was scheduled to be held in Islamabad on 15, 16 November, reason being Pakistan’s alleged involvement in Uri Attacks.

Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan, being India’s strong allies, have also decided to not attend the summit this year. The other member nations are not strong enough to persuade India to attend the summit as well, which means that India has a very strong hold on the SAARC’s matters. The summit has been postponed for an unknown time, leaving Pakistan isolated.

A senior Pakistani diplomat spoke about India’s overwhelming hold on SAARC and a new, Greater SAARC.

Apparently, the showdown forced Pakistan to conclude that in its present shape, SAARC will always be dominated by India. That’s why they are now talking about a greater South Asia.

Another diplomat asserted that the new arrangement will give more room to Pakistan, in case India tries to isolate Pakistan on any front.

Pakistan hopes that this new arrangement will give it more room to manoeuvre when India tries to force a decision on it.

The Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed told the media:

A greater South Asia is already emerging. This greater South Asia includes China, Iran and the neighboring Central Asian republics.

He also pointed out the importance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in his talks with the media.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will be the key economic route linking South Asia with Central Asia. The Gwadar port would be the nearest warm water port, not only for China but also for the land-locked Central Asian states.

When asked about inviting India to this new arrangement, he said:

We want India to join this arrangement as well, an offer Indians are unlikely to accept as they are comfortable with the advantage that SAARC provides them.

This seems to be the point when Pakistan must not allow India to impose its decisions upon Pakistan, therefore a new arrangement might be the answer here. However, it will not help alleviate the worsening ties between the two countries.