Same Principles but Different Outcomes of SAARC and ASEAN: Searching Gap

Mohammad Razaul Karim


This article shows that two regional organizations- the Association of South East Asian Nations and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation were established for regional cooperation and integration. Though both regional organizations’ principles, objectives have similarity but unfortunately, SAARC became an ineffective organization by failing to achieve its goal. Intra-regional trade of SAARC is significantly worse than other regions in the globe. This article tries to find out the reason behind the ineffectiveness of SAARC and concludes that India-Pakistan rivalry, India’s role with smaller countries and mutual mistrust among the nations of South Asia are the main causes that made SAARC an ineffective organization. On the contrary, ASEAN nations have practiced informal diplomacy to mitigate their bilateral disputes, decision making process- the ASEAN way, Indonesia’s positive role made ASEAN a successful organization. The article has also shown a comparative analysis between SAARC and ASEAN for identifying some good examples which SAARC countries could follow.

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