South Asia’s interaction with the rest of the world has varied over time, depending on the global agenda of the major powers, policy choices and internal politico-economic dynamics of each state of South Asia. South Asian politics is complex because the states of the region, especially India and Pakistan, do not have a shared vision of regional security. India and Pakistan diverge in their approaches to the rest of the world. They have often devoted their diplomatic resources and skills to build pressures on each other. Some of the other states have also toyed with the idea of asserting their individual entity in foreign affairs but were not always successful. All this adversely affected South Asia’s global role as an autonomous entity. It could not articulate an effective regional personality with intra-regional institutions and processes for coping with region-wide issues and extra-regional pressures with the exception of holding ritualistic regional conclaves and issuance of declarations for creating effective regional mechanisms.
March 2007, volume 31, No 3