The 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit concluded in Kathmandu, Nepal on November 27, 2014. What was the outcome of this summit? In the words of Sharmadha Srinivasan, (an economist and a researcher at ‘Gateway House’ think tank based in India and a regular columnist for The Diplomat and The Political Indian), “Disappointing!” Now, the 19th SAARC Summit is scheduled to take place in Islamabad in November 2016, and questions regarding its prospects and challenges are already being raised.
This paper will briefly discuss the current prospects and challenges for the upcoming 19th SAARC Summit that will be hosted by Islamabad, Pakistan on November 9 and 10, 2016. Given the 31 years history of SAARC, the prospects and chances of success for the 19th SAARC Summit seem to be extremely bleak. South Asia is a region plagued by many crisis, menaces and problems such as poverty, unemployment, bad governance, corruption, illiteracy and terrorism. Although the historical background of SAARC is very discouraging, but it is imperative to hope and work for a better outcome of the upcoming 19th SAARC summit.