The Indian Ocean surrounds South Asia and geographically contains seven countries -Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. For years, the South Asian region has been dealing with violence and diplomatic political oppression. The five countries of South Asia are always in conflict or are dealing with internal radical extremism. South Asia countries fought and won the democratisation from colonial rule in 1947-1950.
Issues of Bangladesh and Pakistan
Pakistan and Bangladesh were separated from India after being independent of colonial rule in 1947. Even after Partition, India and Pakistan are still rivals and have fought many wars; their conflict over Kashmir grows each day, posing a major threat as both countries now have nuclear arms. If nuclear war breaks out in the Indo-Pak region, it will cause a problem for these countries as well as the entire South Asian region. Bangladesh, after gaining its freedom from Pakistan in 1970 with the support of India, has now become an unstable state moving between the brief period of democracy and dictatorship; the country is also growing to become grounds of religious extremism and illegal immigration to India.
Issues of Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan
Left-wing Maoist have taken hold of Nepal after overthrowing the monarchy. For the last two decades, Sri Lanka has been involved with an internal civil war between Tamils and Sinhala Buddhists. Sri Lanka gained its independence in 1948. Bhutan also has serious issues and internal conflicts.
Terrorism possesses the greatest threat challenge to be tackled in the South Asian region. In addition to this, these developing countries collectively also have common issues like poverty, hunger, unemployment, and increasing population.
Do These Countries Only Have Conflicts?
Some countries have unique relations like India and Nepal despite all the differences. Despite all the differences, some countries have special relations like India and Nepal. A treaty between the countries allows the citizens of both countries to travel in between the borders without visas and passports. SAPI, the South Asian Peace Initiative, was established to promote peace and cooperation with civil initiatives. SAARC promotes intergovernmental cooperation, economic development, and regional integration among the countries of Southeast Asia. South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation was launched on December 8, 1985.
ASEAN and SAFTA
The ASEAN, Association of South Asian Nations aims to promote economic growth and social and political progress of South Asian countries. To ensure the economic union and common market of SAARC countries, the countries signed the South Asian Free Trade Area agreement. The agreement was signed in 2004 and implied on January 1, 2006. SAFTA creates a free trade zone to allow free trade across the seven borders. Even though Indo-Pak relations are far from being resolved, a series of initiatives and efforts have been made to build peace. Socialists and activists of both countries are working together to reduce the risk of breaking out of war. After the end of the cold war, American involvement in the South Asian region increased. America has great relations with both India and Pakistan, especially after the end of the cold war; America has tried to act as a moderator in Indo-Pak relations.
India shares its border with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, and also shares diplomatic and economic relations. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh before 1947 were part of the same subcontinent, after independence, it was separated into 3 different countries. Pakistan and India are always in conflict with each other regarding the land of Kashmir. Bangladesh is facing an internal threat of Maoist and religious extremists. Sri Lanka is a small island country with very little population, it has been in civil war for nearly two decades, because of languages. The country is divided into two parts amongst the Tamil speakers and Sinhala speakers. Nepal and Maldives are also dealing with internal and external conflicts.