By Pushpa Raj Pradhan
This year also, the SAARC Summit has been postponed because of India. India doesn’t want economic prosperity of her neighbouring countries even though the small neighbouring countries are keenly willing to harness natural resources and make the South Asia region prosperous. We have a huge stock of natural resources in the region, yet, we are unable to harness such resources, this is because of the Indian attitude.
India and Pakistan have fought three big wars plus one undeclared war since both the nations were founded after the British quit the region.
Currently, India has alleged that Pakistan has sponsored terrorism and thus India has launched a “surgical attack” on Pakistan to prove that Pakistan is a terrorist producing country. By giving these reasons, India has postponed the SAARC Summit. India’s sole plan is to isolate Pakistan.
In fact, it is clear that India, by supporting LTTE in Sri Lanka, had encouraged terrorism in the small island country. In Nepal’s case also, India had supported the terrorist declared Maoists to destabilize Nepal.
Losing benefits of regional cooperation:
Due to India’s desire for dominance, all the countries in the region are losing the gains of the regional cooperation. Pakistan is situated in between South Asia and Central Asia. If we construct a petro-pipeline via Pakistan, we can import petrol from Iran and other oil producing countries in Central Asia. Due to the hostile relations between India and Pakistan, we have lost this opportunity.
Nepal has a huge potential in producing hydropower and Bangladesh has huge stock of cooking gas. Both the countries could exchange such items for economic development, unfortunately, we are unable to make this dream come true as there exists India in between the two countries.
Bangladesh is suffering from floods during the rainy season, whereas, during the dry season, she faces acute shortage of water. If high-dams are constructed and water is reserved in the rainy season in Nepal, this water could be shared by Nepal, India and Bangladesh during the dry season. It is because of India, this task has become impossible.
SAARC brainchild of King Birendra:
We all know, King Birendra was always concerned about the prosperity of Nepal and sharing its huge stock of natural resources, including hydropower in the region. Therefore, during a meeting between King Birendra and first President of Bangladesh, Shekh Mujibur Rehman, King Birendra had floated the idea for the formation of a regional organisation even by including China, the country from where most of the rivers originate. Rehman was also convinced from such an idea and he took initiatives to convince other leaders from neighbouring countries. Nepal took the responsibility to convince Pakistan. Later, Rehman felt that China will not be acceptable for India, thus China was excluded from this regional organisation.
After consensus among the six neigbhouring countries, India was compelled to join this regional club.
Unfortunately, India will never encourage gregional cooperation. If we watch the India’s foreign policy, India has never accepted any regional or sub-regional cooperation, except bilateral cooperation only. Currently too, due to India, SAARC has failed to accelerate regional cooperation. To counter SAARC, India has taken initiative on BIMSTEC, where Pakistan is absent.
SAARC under Indian shadow
By Pushpa Raj Pradhan