South Asian Union: Dream reality?
a closer-knit South Asian community is not beyond the realms of possibility now. At the 12th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (saarc) summit in Islamabad from January 4-6, leaders of the region took some of the boldest steps ever since the grouping was first created in 1985. They agreed to make poverty alleviation their topmost priority and foster economic cooperation by freeing up trade within the region.
"South Asia is out of step with other parts of the world, which were able to transcend their differences and disputes and embark on a steady course to economic growth and development,' observed Pakistani Prime Minister (pm) Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali at the meeting. "These examples remind us that rational economics should triumph over political prejudice in South Asia,' stressed India's pm, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Taking the cue from such statements, the seven saarc members set aside their differences and adopted the Islamabad Declaration. It endorses two critical agreements