This book traces economic and political issues through SAARC’s thirty-year journey. Topical and well-researched, this collection provides a comprehensive assessment of SAARC and provides policy directives for the future. The book points out the issues and constraints that have hindered regional cooperation in South Asia. It establishes that despite being democracies, there has been little effort by member nations to promote regional cooperation in the public domain. It stresses that in view of the increased role that countries wish to play in globalisation, economic cooperation is the way forward. The book further argues that political will is the pivot on which the prospect of regional cooperation revolves.
Chapter 7: The significance of SAARC for BHUTAN
The significance of SAARC for BHUTAN
Small states, particularly in the Third World, are militarily weak and incapable of defending themselves without assistance. They are exposed to various threats of enormity such as socio-political instability, poverty, problems of national growth, vulnerable geographic location, underdevelopment, etc. Survival becomes even more difficult if these small states are landlocked. For instance, Bhutan and Nepal often face problems of accessibility and, naturally, their communication with the outside world becomes limited.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, in his Annual Report 1966–67, describes smaller states as ‘entities which are exceptionally small in area, population and human economic resources’. By these parameters, Bhutan falls into this category with a very small area of 18,000 ...