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The Differential Strategy Between Region and Regional Integration


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Before making an analysis on the specific case of SAARC as a regional integration process, we can highlight the connotation of region and regional integration which is significant in this context. There is no denying the fact that on collective research regions are used in shorter sense having encountered external cooperation among regions in the field of trade, commerce, economics, export and import. But regional integration may be used in broader sense as because integrations is needed in order to maneuver the basic cooperation system in relation to the relevant regions in which the respective fields of regions are settled down virtually.

Regional integration has become a very common way of co-operation among states in present day international relations. Generally a ‘region’ is an area where some geographically proximate states join together to achieve their common objectives. As I mentioned earlier, in the present time more or less every nation-state, strong or weak, is a member of a regional system. But there are some states which exist on the borderline between two regions. That is one of the reasons for those states not joining in any regional co-operation arrangements. Although geographical considerations are an important factor for the formation of a region, other factors-for example, social, economic, political, historical, and improvisational - are also important. So we can say that a region consists of two or more proximate states and interacting states which have some common ethnic, linguistic, cultural, social, and/or historical bonds, and whose sense of identity is sometimes increased by the actions and attitudes towards those of states external to the region.

The member states of SAARC are geographically proximate with each other. These states have something in common. For example, they have some common social and historical bonds. These states have common colonial past. Those states (for example Nepal) who were not under colonial rule have also been influenced by that rule owing to geographical proximity with India. There is some cultural commonality among the SAARC states. But where the region ends-for example, on the eastern side-Burma is neither a member of SAARC nor yet of ASEAN. On the western side Afghanistan neither belongs to the Middle East nor to the South Asian group. These states exist on the borderline between two regional systems.

Kh. Atiar Rahman is a distinguished author and a poet. He has unlimited publication in national and international media.


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