Page last updated at 2014-11-26 19:18:34 RSS
  OPINION
A Rainbow Region
CK Lal
Befitting its status as the premier global newspaper, the International New York Times recently ran an advertisement in its own pages featuring eight most powerful leaders of the world. Each one of them, including the lone woman in the power circle, was dressed in pants and coats. Posing for the press in an informally formal moment, none of them had worn a tie.

Despite the chill between Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China’s President Xi Jinping caught by the cameraman of Getty Images in a picture that truly said more than a thousand words, what appeared remarkable was that both world leaders were dressed in dark suits, light color neckties and white shirts. That’s the way most politicos, business tycoons and academic elite of European Union or even South America like to present themselves in public. The world of information, communication and entertainment (ICE) has different dress codes; but even ICE stalwarts put on at least a Western jacket for formal occasions.
Time To Trade
Purushottam Ojha
The theme of eighteenth SAARC summit “deeper integration for peace and prosperity” serves as a wakeup call to move forward on economic integration. Indeed, this is the time to reflect on how far SAARC has been able to meet its objectives in the last three decades.

The world has witnessed a great political and economic transformation in the last three decades. People’s wish for democratic system manifested in the fall of Berlin Wall, collapse of Soviet Union and tearing down of the age-old political systems in East European countries. This has served as a catalyst in the globalization of politics and political uprising, most recently in the Middle East and North African countries.
Onus On India
Prakash Chandra Lohani
South Asia brings a sense of hope as well as disappointment. A sub-continental region and a civilizational entity, South Asia is defined by geography, economic, ecological, cultural and natural resource distribution. From the high mountains of the Himalayas to the southernmost tip of the sub-continent and beyond, there is an invisible cultural link that transcends differences among nations to define a South Asian civilization and indeed a South Asian identity.

The nations in South Asia range from one of the largest to one of the smallest in the world. Three of them are landlocked and two are island states. So far South Asian countries have shown little inclination for collective action. There has been a lot of discussion on regional cooperation but we have not made significant progress compared to other groupings like EU, NAFTA and ASEAN.
Regional Games
Prajwal Oli
Sports lovers in Nepal may believe South Asian Sports Federation, better known as South Asian Games (SAG), was the brainchild of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). But the first regional sporting extravaganza was organized even before the inauguration of SAARC. While SAARC came into being in 1985; the first SAG was held in 1984. SAG initially featured seven SAARC member states. Afghanistan joined SAARC in 2005 after the fall of the Taliban regime and has featured in SAG since its debut in the games in 2006.

The games were initiated with the view to develop sports in the region and to foster unity among the people. SAG seems to have been able to reach this goal, to an extent, although its primary objective has been pushed to the sidelines. SAG, the mini Olympics of the sub-continent, has had 11 editions so far, while there should have been 17. It had been decided during the second South Asian Game held in Dhaka (1985) that SAG would be held every two years.
The enthusiasm for SAG began to wane after 1995. In the twenty years since, only five SAGs have been held. Despite being one of the most populous regions in the world, South Asia is still struggling to make its mark in the global arena. So what went wrong?
Missing Economic Links
Sukhdev Shah
Looking at the past thirty years, SAARC’s achievements have been rather disappointing. Focusing on just the key areas of concern—political and economic relations—would give a good overview of SAARC’s achievements and failures and what lies ahead.

The idea of a regional organization was first floated by Zia-ur Rehman, the President of Bangladesh in the 1970s, which was later picked up by smaller countries of the region, with Nepal in the lead.
More Headlines:
  • Energy integration
    BISHAL THAPA
  • India's role
    NEMMANI SREEDHAR
  • Beyond geopolitics
    RAJAT SETHI
  • Making SAARC work
    REPUBLICA
  • Way forward
    BABURAM BHATTARAI
  • Raise the game
    BIPLAV GAUTAM
  • Improving security
    DR RAJAN BHATTARAI
  • Academic connectivity
    CATHRYN BENNETT
  • Beacon of hope
    SUSHIL KOIRALA
  • Sub-regional perks
    MADHU RAMAN ACHARYA
  • More Headlines»  

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