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
- 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)
The Indo-Greek Kingdom (or sometimes Greco-Indian Kingdom) covered various parts of the northwest and northern Indian subcontinent from 180 BCE to around 10 CE, and was ruled by a succession of more than thirty Greek kings, often in conflict with each other. The kingdom was founded when the Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius invaded India in 180 BCE, ultimately creating an entity which seceded from the powerful Greco-Bactrian Kingdom centered in Bactria (today's northern Afghanistan).
During the two centuries of their rule, the Indo-Greek kings combined the Greek and Indian languages and symbols, as seen on their coins, and blended Ancient Greek, Hindu and Buddhist religious practices, as seen in the archaeological remains of their cities and in the indications of their support of Buddhism. The Indo-Greek kings seem to have achieved a level of cultural syncretism with no equivalent in history, the consequences of which are still felt today, particularly through the diffusion and influence of Greco-Buddhist art.
The Indo-Greeks ultimately disappeared as a political entity around 10 CE following the invasions of the Indo-Scythian, Indo-Parthian and Kushans, although pockets of Greek populations probably remained for several centuries longer. (more...)
|Namche Bazaar in the Khumbu region of Nepal close to Mount Everest. The town is built on terraces in what resembles a giant Greek amphitheatre.
|Photo credit: Kogo
Did you know
- ...that Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least nine thousand years?
Selected Member Country
Bangladesh, officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India on three sides and Myanmar to the southeast; the Bay of Bengal forms the southern coastline. Together with the Indian state of West Bengal, it comprises the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means "Country of Bengal" and is written as বাংলাদেশ and pronounced Bengali: [ˈbaŋlad̪eʃ]. The exact origin of the word Bangla or Bengal is unknown.
The borders of Bangladesh were set by the Partition of India in 1947, when it became the eastern wing of Pakistan (East Pakistan), separated from the western wing by 1,600 km (1,000 miles). Despite their common religion, the ethnic and linguistic gulf between the two wings was compounded by an apathetic government based in West Pakistan. This resulted in the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 after a bloody war, supported by India. The years following independence have been marked by political turmoil, with thirteen different heads of government, and at least four military coups.
The population of Bangladesh ranks seventh in the world, but its area of approximately 144,000 km2 is ranked ninety-third. It is the third largest Muslim-majority nation, but has a slightly smaller Muslim population than the Muslim minority in India. It is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Geographically dominated by the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, the country has annual monsoon floods, and cyclones are frequent. Bangladesh is one of the founding members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), BIMSTEC, and a member of the OIC and the D-8.
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi (Hindi: इन्दिरा प्रियदर्शिनी गान्धी) (19 November 1917 - October 31, 1984) was an Indian politician who served as Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and for a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984.
Born in the politically influential Nehru dynasty, she grew up in an intensely political atmosphere. Her grandfather Motilal Nehru and father Jawaharlal Nehru were prominent Indian nationalist leaders. Returning to India from Oxford in 1941, she became involved in the Indian Independence movement.
In the 1950s, she served her father unofficially as a personal assistant during his tenure as India's first Prime Minister. After her father's death in 1964, she was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha by the President of India and became a member of Lal Bahadur Shastri's cabinet as Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
Chosen to become Prime Minister by Congress Party insiders after Shastri's death, Gandhi soon showed an ability to win elections and outmanoeuvre opponents through populism. She introduced more left-wing economic policies and promoted agricultural productivity. A crusing victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan was followed by a period of instability that led her to impose a state of Emergency in 1975; she paid for the authoritarian excesses of the period with three years in opposition.
Returned to office in 1980, she became increasingly involved in an escalating conflict with separatists in Punjab that eventually led to her assassination by her own bodyguards in 1984. (more...)
Wikipedia in South Asian Languages
: اسلام آباد
) is the capital city
, and is located in the Potohar
Plateau in the northwest of the country. It is located within the Islamabad Capital Territory
, the area has historically been a part of the crossroads of the Rawalpindi
and the North-West Frontier Province
pass being a historic gateway to the North-West Frontier Province
. Islamabad is located at 33°40′N 73°10′E / 33.667°N 73.167°E
The city was built during the 1960s to replace Karachi as Pakistan's capital. A Greek firm of architects, Doxiadis Associates, drew up a master plan, triangular in shape based on a grid system with its apex towards the Margalla Hills. Rawalpindi is considered its sister city due to the close proximity of the two cities.
Islamabad is a rather modern and clean city, especially in comparison to other cities in Pakistan. It is well-organized, with the city being divided into different sectors and zones. Islamabad was divided into eight zones: the diplomatic enclave, the commercial district, the educational sector, the industrial area and so on, each with its own shopping area and park. Islamabad is also home to the Faisal Mosque which is well known for its architecture and immense size. The mosque was gifted by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. (more)
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:11:15 -0700
KATHMANDU, SEP 22 - A three-member team from the Foreign Ministry has left for Indian capital New Delhi to exchange information with diplomats from India, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan on preparations for the 18th Saarc Summit to be held in ...
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 02:22:30 -0700
NEW DELHI (IDN) - The South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is not a shining model of regional cooperation. It is seen as a talking shop – of a region that accounts for the largest population of the poor – with lofty goals, high ...
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:00:53 -0700
Continuing its emphasis on relations with SAARC nations, India will host the Third Meeting of SAARC Cultural Ministers in New Delhi from September 24-26. Of the seven states invited to the event, six — Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives ...
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 02:05:06 -0700
Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Friday inaugurated the 6th SAARC Home Ministers' meet here which is expected to discuss counter-terrorism, maritime security, narcotic drugs, cyber crimes and other issues. The Indian delegation is led by Home ...
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:11:15 -0700
New Delhi: The government has set up a committee under the chairmanship of finance secretary Arvind Mayaram to examine a proposal to establish a development bank for South Asian countries. The idea to create a Saarc (South Asian Association for ...
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 20:11:15 -0700
KATHMANDU, SEP 20 - Saarc member states on Friday agreed to fight terrorism and transnational organised crime in the region and operationalise the Saarc Terrorism Offences Monitoring Desk as well as the Saarc Visa Exemption Scheme. The agreements ...
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 03:41:15 -0700
Inaugrating the sixth meeting of the Saarc Ministers of Interior/Home held in the Capital after eight years, Prime Minister Koirala said that South Asia, as a region, has become more democratic since the founding of SAARC in 1985, yet democracy, human ...
Sun, 14 Sep 2014 12:41:15 -0700
Similar in spirit was the Lahore Declaration in June 2014. It called upon the governments of SAARC to include in the agenda of the November 2014 Kathmandu Summit a discussion on an inter-state rights mechanism. The articulation of support for a ...
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