Sunday, January 01, 2006

A South Asian Union

During the year 2006, I hope the leaders of all South Asian nations will begin to think seriously about creating a South Asian Union akin to the European Union, where the national boundaries have almost become meaningless.

We have thousands of years of common history between the peoples who now reside in the nation states of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Admittedly, some of it is violent history but a lot more of it is not. There have been long spells of peaceful co-existence in the past. If theEuropeans, with their intense history of hatred and violence, can "turn their swords into ploughshares," why can't we.

Having learnt from the excesses of the distant and not too distantpast, we should move toward a vision of shared humanism. We should foster an inclusive vision that allows for diversity of ideologies and lifestyle, not an exclusive vision that dictates what everyone will do in their personal and public lives. In other words, we should use the energy released by the start of a new year to transcend this drift toward authoritarianism, nationalism and militarism that is rife in South Asia and most certainly in our beloved Pakistan.

With best wishes to everyone for the New Year!

2 Comments:

Blogger the Mad "Chef" said...

Happy New Year...

2:13 PM  
Blogger iFaqeer said...

Please educate me, but isn't that what SAFTA is all about?

And a very prosperous new year to you and yours, too.

3:08 AM  

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