EU-SAARC cooperation is a new global challenge: speakers at discussionStaff Correspondent
Former caretaker government’s chief advisor Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman on Monday said foreigners cannot resolve the local political crises and the nation needs to resolve its problems by itself.
‘We need a “made in Bangladesh” solution,’ he said referring to the present political situation where foreign diplomats are suggesting the leaders of the two leading political parties to sit across the table to sort out problems.
The situation has reached a level where a settlement in unlikely even if the two leaders sit at one table, Justice Habibur Rahman told reporters at an international conference on ‘EU-SAARC Cooperation’ organised by South Asia Youth for Peace and Prosperity Society at the CIRDAP auditorium.
Diplomats from embassies of India, Pakistan and Nepal also attended the conference presided over by Dhaka University International Relations department professor Imtiaz Ahmed.
Referring to the ‘Schengen Visa’ policy of the EU, Justice Habibur Rahman said the people of the EU countries are free to travel across their borders but SAARC does not have any such policy to maintain proper relationship.
The diplomats from the SAARC countries said that although the region has a cultural harmony, the utmost disadvantage is the influence of domestic politics which is keeping the region away from being prosperous.
The external linkages with other regional forums like the EU should be strengthened for economic progress, the speakers said.
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is situated over a territory estimated at 5.1 square kilometers with 1,600 million inhabitants, whereas the total area and population of European Union are 4.3 square kilometers and 852.4 million.
The SAARC, comprising 8 countries, is supposed to be a dynamic institutionalised regional cooperation in South Asia, basically perceived as an economic grouping to work together for accelerating the pace of socio-economic and cultural development, they observed.
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