Bimstec is replacing SAARC?

BIMSTEClogoSAARC, an organization to enhance cooperation between seven south Asian countries was formed in the eighties. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were the member countries initially, later Afghanistan joined the organization. But this organization failed to do something substantial. Many analysts of international relations have said that regional power India never wanted a successful SAARC, they always wanted to isolate another regional power Pakistan.

SAARC concept was initiated by Bangladesh. Many analysts believe that it was a clever move by Bangladesh, because India always shows big brother attitude towards smaller countries of the region, they like to negotiate everything bilaterally. But Bangladesh convinced other countries of the region that we need to discuss several regional issues on regional forum. India never liked SAARC, though they joined the forum. There are instance that SAARC summit was postponed due to reluctance from India.

Now India is interested with another regional forum, Bimstec. Pakistan is not included in this forum and India seems happy to activate this new forum isolating his rival. India has very big economy compared to other countries of Bimstec. So India has the opportunity to take the upper hand in this forum.

NATO and Warsaw became rivals of each other in the cold war era, NATO was mainly controlled by US and Warsaw was controlled by USSR. Now it’s time to see whether this new regional body Bimstec is controlled by India or it becomes a democratic organization. There are reports that this organization has already started talking on regional connectivity issue which will give India better access to its nearly landlocked northeastern parts.

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