Regional Order in South Asia
At the backdrop of the relationship crisis between India and Pakistan that started in December 2001, and is still continuing unresolved with such magnitude and potential world significance, this book is particularly timely. The author considers the various issues which contribute to peace, and less of it in South Asia. The first is that of the nuclear threat posed by each side, significant and chilling in its potential ramifications for the rest of the world. Water has been another important factor in Indo-Pak and Indo Bangladesh relations.
The Simla Agreement of 2 July 1972 (Document Three) is a typical example of the bilateral approach, and the one, which is now more commonly referred to by India as the determining precedent. In this study, Ross Masood gives considerable attention to the prospects for multilateral advances in the Indian sub-continent, in particular following the establishment of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation on 8 December 1985.
What is required by and for the peoples of South Asia for peace and harmony? Perhaps the SAARC Declaration of January 2002, if it becomes more than mere words, may provide a way forward. But much else is needed. It is for this reason that the many positive suggestions and proposals (such as for a SAARC Regional Parliament, on the model of the European Parliament) in the study by Ross Masood deserve a wide audience.