Do you think that the shift in focus of India from SAARC to BIMSTEC is due to inability of SAARC to foster regional cooperation? Comment.
India has shown a visible shift in its foreign policy from SAARC to BIMSTEC over the last five years. SAARC has not met since 2014 and there has little ground being achieved by it over the same time. Even in 2016, the Summit was cancelled due to a boycott by India and three other nations due to terror attacks on India by Pakistan-based groups.
The Indian government has thus shown an obvious shift in stance to BIMSTEC for taking regional cooperation to a new level. India needs to adopt a cautious approach towards it. BIMSTEC will be more successful if implemented in terms of economic, social and cultural cooperation, unlike SAARC which was more defined by strategy and security. Absence of Pakistan is a positive as more pressing issues can be taken up with ease. Also, Chinaï¿½s absence can serve as a boon as many issues will pass without many obstacles. BIMSTEC has emerged as a viable option for Indian Foreign Policy.