All the SAARC countries have a common and shared history. All the states have undergone long colonial rule, and achieved their independence through their long struggle against colonial domination. They have inherited some of colonial practices and also evils. Apart from history, SAARC countries have some other shared interests and problems. All the SAARC countries are situated in South Asia and geographically they occupy considerable masses of world areas. The total populations of SAARC countries are about 150 crores which are one fourth of the world s total population. It is the world’s most densely populated region and one of the most fertile areas. Besides, SAARC countries have common religions, tradition, dress, food, and cultural and political aspects. They have some common rivers and landscapes. And most important of all, all the SAARC countries have common problems and issues like poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, natural disasters, internal conflicts, industrial and technological backwardness, low GDP and poor socio-economic conditions.
The objectives of SAARC:
- Promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and improve their quality of life;
- Promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia;
- Contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of one another’s problems;
- Strengthen co-operation with other developing countries;
- Promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields;
Given the geo-political importance, huge unexplored natural resources, vast potential human resources, natural rater bases and courses and a huge consumption area; the SAARC region is commercially and strategically important. However, it is worlds one of the most underdeveloped areas. Mutual disbelieve, terrorism, trade gap among the member states, lack of co-operation, a general atmosphere of fear and hostility and political unrest stand in the way of development of SAARC.
If only SAARC countries can remove the prevalent mood of fear and disbelief, increase their internal trades, increase their co-operation and friendship, develop their mutual relations and solve existent conflicts, they can greatly improve their socio-economic condition and uplift their living standard.