Sunday, January 02, 2005

No show summit

There are a few disappointed officials in Dhaka this week. Denying it up to the last minute, they had to announce the postponement of the summit of South Asian leaders. The Tsunami is far more important to Sri Lanka, Maldives and India, as it should be. SAARC has so far only proved to be a talking shop. We could all benefit if South Asia can act in unison. But the historical (and hysterical) confrontation between India and Pakistan has gone on for 50 plus years and prevented SAARC following ASEAN, let alone the EU.
Now new groupings are appearing, such as BIMSTEC and BICM.
Despite the recent conciliatory noises betwen Pakistan and India, I do not believe they have the will to overcome their petty jealousies. We cannot wait for foreover. And frankly, why should Bangladesh be more bothered with Pakistan over South-West China or mynamar or even Thailand?
I think it would be much healthier for us to look east and south east and get closer to China. Economically and militarily. By us, I include India too.

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