South Asia is home to about one fourth of world population. Due to its geo-strategic location, the region has been playing major role on global front throughout the later half of twentieth century. The region has geo-strategic and geo-economic value for the strategically important South East Asia as well as Middle East and Central Asian Region. India, reportedly, is all set to become world’s second largest economy after China by 2050. Other states like Pakistan, Bangladesh are also poised to be part of top 20 economies of the world.
The region faces myriad of problems stemming out from mostly domestic or regional issues. The turbulent history of domestic issues and regional conflict has prevented the region from progress and integration unlike what was witnessed in South East Asia and Europe. Colonial legacy has mostly been attributed for problems in democracy, governance and security in the region, however, even after passing of over 70 years, structural problems in all domains largely remain same.
Democratic deficit was the hallmark of the region in the past, with many states failing to imbibe democratic values in their societies and state structures like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Afghanistan etc. However, second wave of democratization in south Asian context has just begun. With general election season has recently been concluded in Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan and Maldives in 2018, other states like India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be witnessing general elections in 2019 and Sri Lanka in 2020. Though these elections are a step towards democratization in the region, major challenges to democracy remain afoot. Major challenge among these is failure of democratic governments to establish democratic and effective governance system in their respective states. Lack of governance infrastructure, structural flaws in governance structures, lack of political will, bureaucratic hurdles, cultural problems are just a few problems of governance facing this region.
Security environment in South Asia has been never so precarious in the history of region. Complex security environment of the region has been a major hurdle in the way of regional integration and cooperation. Long-standing conflicts in the region like between Pakistan and India, civil war in Afghanistan, and recent Doklam crisis are just few examples of growing security problem in the region.
NOTE: It is to inform you that due to generous funding from Government of Pakistan, International participants will be provided with travel cost to and from Pakistan, meals and stay at the campus during conference.