Srinagar: The biggest obstacle to the efficacy of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) as a regional body has been the frequent stand-offs between its two largest members, India and Pakistan, former Indian Ambassador Amitava Tripathi said today.
“The single biggest obstacle to SAARC’s efficacy as a regional body has been the frequent stand-offs between India and Pakistan,” Tripathi, who has been India’s Ambassador to Brazil, Switzerland and the Vatican, said.
Triptahi was here to deliver a lecture to the faculty and students of the Central University of Kashmir on – “India and SAARC: Challenges in Building A Prosperous Neighborhood”.
He said several factors were preventing SAARC from being a meaningful organisation. These factors include the asymmetries existing between its largest member, India, and the rest of the membership in terms of resources and capacities, he said.
He said pervasive and widespread poverty exacerbated by inadequate educational and health facilities is affecting SAARC’s performance. “It is indeed regretable that well over 30 per cent of South Asia lives in dire poverty, often in conditions worse than sub-Saharan Africa,” he added