Volume 21, No.1, January 2000

SAARC: SHALLOW REGIONALISM, POLITICAL ABSTINENCE AND ECONOMIC ADVOCACY

by Mahendra P. Lama

           Mr. Mahendra P. Lama. Ph.D. is Associate Professor, South Asian Studies Division, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru  University, New Delhi.

              The sine die Postponement 11th SAARC Summit was more or less expected given the immediately preceding political developments in Pakistan.  This Summit would for the first time brought the two less leaders of lndia and Pakistan eye-to-eye after the Kargil misadventure. In the past, summits have been postponed without really considering its adverse impact on the institution of SAARC. The summits have been postponed purely because of “bilateral contentious” issues which were supposed to the purview of SAARC. The frequent postponement of SAARC, therefore, questions the very relevance and efficacy of continuing such flagrantly violated norms as laid down in Article X of the Charter. But the redeeming fact is that SAARC has not lost its relevance in South Asia Whatever be the progress made by SAARC since its launching in 1985. It has been perhaps the only forum where the South Asian leaders are brought together their intense political inhibitions and insurmountable national reservations on certain political issues. Despite a snail’s pace progress. One of the remarkable contributions of SAARC has been the fact that it has been able to trigger off whole range of activities outside the official SAARC forum. These activities in private sector, in non-governmental organisations and community level activities across the region have in fact withstood all kinds of political ups and downs.

 

SECURITY CHALLENGES OF SOUTH ASIAN COUNTRIES IN THE COMING DECADE ; AN OVERVIEW

by Ishfaq Iiahi Chowlhury

           Mr.shfaq Ilahi Chowdhury is a Group Captain in the Bangladesh Air Force.

         

          Since the nuclear explosion by India and Pakistan in may 1998. Their old rivalry has taken a new dimension. While Kashmir issue is a major hurdle to normalisation  of their relations. The inadvertent or accidental use of nuclear is a clear danger. At another level, sectarian violence and religious fanaticism, poverty and illiteracy, An increasing gap between rich and poor threatening the states structures in South Asia. On the political front, democratic political institutions need be strengthened throughout South Asia, and especially in Pakistan. Any attempt to discredit or destabilise Pakistan will not only help the radical forces in that country, it will threaten stability of India as well. South Asian states should encourage democratic. Secular values in the socio-political life that will curb religious extremism and ultra-nationalism. Drugs and arms trafficking, and organised crime can be combated only by a combined efforts of all states. SAARC could play an important role in strengthening regional security. Regional economic integration will deter war and encourage peaceful conflict resolution. SAARC could encourage military cooperation within member states. This may not be immediately feasible, but as the relationship between states normalises, the benefits become obvious. 

 

THE U. S. COMPREHENSIVE ENGAGEMENT POLICY TOWARDS CHINA: KEY ISSUES

by Md. Abdul Mannan  

         Md. Abdul Mannan is a Research Associate at the BangladeshInstitute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS). Dhaka.

               The U. S. comprehensive engagement’ policy is a strategy developed by Clinton Administration vis-avis China aimed at achieving some specific goals seen in terms of its politico-strategic and economic interest. While the U.S. relationship with China has not been without troubles due to the existence of a number of conflicting issues. The thrust for vital co-operation has placed comprehensive engagement policy to dominate over the troubling issues due to positive response to a great extent from the Chinese side. The policy has helped improve the relationship between the two countries in an atmosphere of convergence of interests. The article examines the convergence of interests between the U. S. and China.

 

ERESOURCE ACCOUNTING ANDITS IMPLICATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: ALESSON FOR

by A.H.M. Mustain Billah

.          A.H.M. Mustain Billah, ph.D. is a Senior Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Establishment, and formerly, a Senior Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forest. 

.         The System of National Accounts (SNA) is the standard framework used for measuring macroeconomic performance, analyzing trnds of economic growth, and providing the economic counterpart of social welfare. Presently the concept of capital maintenance applies only to physical capital: little account is taken of the contribution of natural resource and environment to economic activity. National income should be measured correctly to indicate sustainable income. Revenues derived from resource extraction have the potential to finance investment in other sectors of the economy. The study applied user cost method to estimate resource depletion. It suggests that the positive trend of adjusted Gross Domestic Product (AGDP) is a good indicator of economic sustainability) Two alternative sustainability indicators confirm the economic sustainability of peninsular Malaysia with respect to forest resource depletion. A similar study for natural resource accounting of Bangladesh may enable the estimation of resource depletion and the examination of their impact on sustainable economic development.