South Asia and Beyond

‘Afghanistan Is Being Squeezed Out Of SAARC’

NEW DELHI: The suspension of the SAARC process owing to hurdles placed by Pakistan has had an unintended consequence. It cut off Afghanistan’s physical access to other SAARC members. The push for BIMSTEC and sub-regional cooperation has also accentuated Kabul’s sense of isolation within the South Asian fraternity, argues Nazir Kabiri of the Biruni Institute, a Kabul-based think tank. In a chat with StratNews Global’s Surya Gangadharan, Kabiri underscored his country’s frustration over the slow pace of work on the Chabahar Port in Iran, which is intended to relieve Afghanistan’s isolation. Options with Central Asian neighbours like Uzbekistan are also being explored. Naziri believes Afghanistan would be the ideal trade and transit bridge between Central and South Asia if only the politics were not so vitiated.

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Surya Gangadharan

Thirty eight years in journalism, widely travelled, history buff with a preference for Old Monk Rum. Current interest/focus spans China, Technology and Trade. Recent reads: Steven Colls Directorate S and Alexander Frater's Chasing the Monsoon. Netflix/Prime video junkie. Loves animal videos on Facebook. Reluctant tweeter.


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