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SAARC portal

edit The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic and political organization of eight countries in Southern Asia. In terms of population, its sphere of influence is the largest of any regional organization: almost 1.5 billion people, the combined population of its member states. In 1980, Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman proposed the creation of a trade bloc consisting of South Asian countries. The Bangladeshi proposal was accepted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka during a meeting held in Colombo in 1981. In August 1983, the leaders adopted the Declaration on South Asian Regional Cooperation during a summit which was held in New Delhi. The seven South Asian countries, which also included Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan, agreed on five areas of cooperation:

  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Meteorology
  • Health and Population Activities
  • Transport*
  • Human Resource Development

Afghanistan was added to the regional grouping at the behest of India on November 13, 2005, With the addition of Afghanistan, the total number of member states were raised to eight (8). The People's Republic of China, the European Union, the United States of America, South Korea, Iran, Myanmar, Australia, and Mauritus are observers to SAARC. (more)

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Indian tanks on the move during the 1965 Indo-Pak War

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, also known as the Second Kashmir War, was the culmination of a series of skirmishes that occurred between April 1965 and September 1965 between India and Pakistan. The war was the second fought between India and Pakistan over the region of Kashmir, the first having been fought in 1947. The war lasted five weeks, resulted in thousands of casualties on both sides and ended in a United Nations (UN) mandated ceasefire. It is generally accepted that the war began following the failure of Pakistan's "Operation Gibraltar" which was designed to infiltrate and invade Jammu and Kashmir.

Much of the war was fought by the countries' land forces in the region of Kashmir and along the International Border (IB) between India and Pakistan. The war also involved a limited participation from the countries' respective air forces. This war saw the largest amassing of troops in Kashmir, a number that was overshadowed only during the 2001-2002 military standoff between India and Pakistan. Many details of this war, like those of most Indo-Pakistani Wars, remain unclear and riddled with media biases. (more...)

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Rabindranath Tagore
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Gateway of India
The Gateway of India is a monument located on the waterfront of South Mumbai. Its central dome is a a basalt arch, 15 metres in diameter and 26 metres above ground at its highest point. While Indo-Saracenic in architectural style, elements are derived from the Muslim architectural styles of 16th century Gujarat. The Gateway is traditionally the first thing visitors arriving by boat would see of Mumbai.
Photo credit: Rhaessner
Did you know

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Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal

Selected Member Country

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Flag of Sri Lanka

Emblem of Sri Lanka
Location on the world map


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Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (Sinhalese: Sri Lanka Sinhala.jpg, Tamil: இலங்கை; known as Ceylon before 1972) is an island nation in South Asia, located about 31 kilometers (18½ mi) off the southern coast of India. Originally known as Heladiva, it is home to around twenty million people.

Sri Lanka is a strategic naval link between West Asia and South East Asia and has been a centre of Buddhist religion and culture from ancient times. Today, Sri Lanka is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation, with a fifth of the population following faiths other than Buddhism - notably Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. The Sinhalese community forms the majority of the population (around 80%), with Tamils, who are mostly concentrated in the north and east of the island, forming the largest ethnic minority. Other communities include the Muslim Moors and Malays as well as Burghers.

Famous for the production and export of tea, coffee, rubber and coconuts, Sri Lanka boasts a progressive and modern industrial economy. The natural beauty of Sri Lanka's tropical forests, beaches and landscape, as well as its rich cultural heritage make it a world famous tourist destination.

After over two thousand years of rule by local kingdoms, parts of Sri Lanka were colonized by Portugal and the Netherlands beginning in the 16th century, before the control of the entire country was ceded to the British Empire in 1815. During World War II Sri Lanka served as an important base for Allied forces in the fight against the Japanese Empire. A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century, with the aim of obtaining political independence, which was eventually granted by the British after peaceful negotiations in 1948. Since then Sri Lanka has struggled in maintaining a liberal democracy and stunted economic progress due to the ongoing conflict between the Sri Lankan government and a separatist militant group known as the Tamil Tigers in the northeastern parts of the country.

At a glance

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Member Country Capital
Afghanistan Kabul
Bangladesh Dhaka
Bhutan Thimpu
India New Delhi
Maldives Malé
Nepal Kathmandu
Pakistan Islamabad
Sri Lanka Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
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Bengal 1907

This 1907 map of Eastern Bengal clearly shows the spread of Bengali culture towards the east, encompassing modern Bangladesh, Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. Today's West Bengal lies to the west of this region, forming the eastern bottleneck of India, stretching from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south. The state has a total area of 88,752 km². The Darjeeling Himalayan hill region in the northern extreme of the state belongs to the eastern Himalaya. This region contains Sandakfu (3,636 m) — the highest peak of the state. The narrow Terai region separates this region from the plains, which in turn transitions into the Ganges delta towards the south. The Rarh region intervenes between the Ganges delta in the east and the western plateau and high lands. A small coastal region is on the extreme south, while the Sundarbans mangrove forests form a remarkable geographical landmark at the Ganges delta.

Map credit: Astrokey44

Selected Biography

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Emperor Babur from a Mogul Miniature Painting

Zāhir ud-Dīn Mohammad, commonly known as Bābur (February 14, 1483 – December 26, 1530) (Chaghatay/Persian: ﻇﻬﻴﺮ ﺍﻟﺪﻳﻦ محمد بابر‎; also spelled Zahiruddin, Zahiriddin, Muhammad, Bobur, Baber, Babar, etc.), was a Muslim Emperor from Central Asia who founded the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur, and believed himself to be a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother. Following a series of set-backs he succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal Empire.

The Mughal Empire was an important imperial power in the Indian Subcontinent from the early sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. At the height of its power, around 1700, it controlled most of the subcontinent and parts of what is now Afghanistan. Its population at that time has been estimated as between 100 and 150 million, over a territory of over 3 million square km. Following 1720 it declined rapidly. Its decline has been variously explained as caused by wars of succession, agrarian crises fueling local revolts, the growth of religious intolerance and British colonialism. The last Emperor, whose rule was restricted to the city of Delhi, was imprisoned and exiled by the British after the Indian Rebellion of 1857. (more...)

Wikipedia in South Asian Languages

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অসমিয়া (Assamese) • भोजपुरी (Bhojpuri) • বাংলা (Bengali) • ইমার ঠার/বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী (Bishnupriya Manipuri) • މަހަލް (Dhivehi) • ગુજરાતી (Gujarati) • हिन्दी (Hindi) • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada) • कॉशुर (Kashmiri) • മലയാളം (Malayalam) • मराठी (Marathi) • नेपाली (Nepali) • ଓଡ଼ିଆ (Oriya) • پښتو (Pashto) • فارسی (Persian) • ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (Punjabi) • संस्कृत (Sanskrit) •Santali (Santali) • सिनधि (Sindhi) • தமிழ் (Tamil) • తెలుగు (Telugu) • اردو (Urdu) • සිංහල (Sinhala)

Selected Destination

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View over Kathmandu
Kathmandu (Nepali: काठमाडौं, काठमान्डु, Nepal Bhasa: यें) is the capital city of Nepal and it is also the largest city in Nepal. The original inhabitants of Kathmandu are called Newars, who speak Nepal Bhasa, which is the language of communication between Newars, and is spoken by other ethnic communities residing in Kathmandu. It stands at an elevation of approximately 1,300m (4,265 ft). It is an urban and suburban area of about 1.5 million inhabitants in the tri-city area in the Kathmandu Valley in central Nepal, along the Bagmati River. The two other cities are Patan) and Bhaktapur. Kathmandu is located at 27°43′N 85°22′E / 27.717°N 85.367°E / 27.717; 85.367.

The Kathmandu Valley may have been inhabited as early as 900 BC, but the oldest known objects in the valley date to a few hundred years BC. The earliest known inscription is dated 185 AD. The oldest firmly dated building in the earthquake-prone valley is almost 1,000 years old. The Kirats are the first documented rulers of the Kathmandu Valley, the remains of their palace are said to be in Patan near Hiranyavarna Mahavihara (called "Patukodon"). The Licchavi Dynasty whose earliest inscriptions date back to 464 AD were the next rulers of the valley and had close ties with the Gupta Dynasty of India. The Malla Dynasty consisted of Newar rulers, who ruled Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding area from the 12th century till the 17th century when the Shah Dynasty under Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered the valley as he created present-day Nepal. Most of ancient Nepalese architecture present in Nepal today is from the Malla/Newar era. (more)

Related portals

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:SAARC — Please support Wikipedia.
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Nazariya - Global regionalism and SAARC

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7085 news items

The Nation

Niticentral
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:26:15 -0700

From Sajjad Hussain Islamabad, Oct 23 (PTI) The resolution of disputes between SAARC countries is important for the progress of the grouping, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said today, amid Indo-Pak border tensions. “Pakistan wished to nurture ...
 
GreaterKashmir.com
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:32:44 -0700

Islamabad, Oct 23: The resolution of disputes between SAARC countries is important for the progress of the grouping, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Thursday, amid Indo-Pak border tensions. "Pakistan wished to nurture closer economic and ...

The Diplomat

The Diplomat
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:52:30 -0700

Based on comments made earlier this week, Modi seems intent on changing SAARC's status in South Asia. According to Modi, South Asian countries should focus on identifying their common heritage, challenges, and opportunities to foster regional ...

The Express Tribune

The Express Tribune
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:18:45 -0700

ISLAMABAD: Nepal's Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Panday on Thursday extended an invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to participate in the 18th SAARC Summit being held in Kathmandu in November, an official handout stated. The meeting ...
 
Business Standard
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:48:45 -0700

"Pakistan wished to nurture closer economic and cultural relations between the two countries", Sharif told Nepal Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Panday when he called on him to invite him to attend the 18th SAARC summit to be held in Kathmandu next ...

Financial Express Bangladesh

Himalayan Times
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:52:30 -0700

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today briefed and updated about the overall preparation for the upcoming SAARC Summit to the Kathmandu-based ambassadors and envoys of SAARC member states, SAARC Observers and officials of SAARC ...

DAWN.com

DAWN.com
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:31:20 -0700

ISLAMABAD: Nepal has formally extended an invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend the 18th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) to be held in Kathmandu this November. The invitation was delivered by ...
 
E Kantipur
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:48:45 -0700

KABUL, OCT 22 - New Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has said he is looking forward to participating in the 18th Saarc Summit to be held in Kathmandu on November 26-27. In a meeting with visiting Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey on ...
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