The IUP Journal of International Relations
South Asian Security Framework: A Three-Dimensional View

Article Details
Pub. Date : Apr, 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Soft Skills
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJIR31904
Author Name : Shiv Kumar
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 19



During the late 20th century, a wave of regionalism and globalization opened up opportunities for the South Asian countries to lay down the South Asian security framework. The initiative began with the establishment of SAARC, followed by BIMSTEC and Mekong Ganga Cooperation. However, the traditional rivalry between India and Pakistan and their diverse approaches such as Pakistan's policy toward its Western neighborhood and India's approach towards its Eastern neighbors through its 'Act East' policy, increased mistrust and divergence with regard to regional cooperation. At the same time, the geostrategic presence of great powers such as the US, China and Russia is also instrumental in the paradigm shift in the South Asian security framework, especially after the 9/11 attack. The paper analyzes in depth the South Asian security framework through the three dimensional layers, that is, internal building based on Indo-Pak traditional rivalry; regional measures, through historical, cultural, religious and commercial connectivity among the South Asian countries; and the role of great powers in the regional security framework. Since these factors are responsible for either fracturing or nurturing the regional security framework in the region, the paper analyzes these core multi-layer factors in determining the South Asian security framework as a myth or reality in the 21st century.


The South Asian region is sandwiched between the Middle East and Southeast Asian regions. The southern part of the region is bounded by the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and the northern part sharing the boundaries of the Hindu Kush to Himalayan mountain.1, 2, 3 The historically diverse region was the center of attraction for foreign traders and sailors since Vasco da Gama discovered the maritime sea route in 1498. The post-Gaman period of the Indian subcontinent witnessed several drastic changes in fields likes history, culture, language, religion, economic and political boundaries especially after Jinnah's 'Two Nation Theory' in 1947. The region was the epicenter of the Indus Valley civilization, attracted the Greeks, Romans and the Middle Eastern empires, increasing the proximity, not only in terms of economics but also in terms of civilizational, cultural and religious bonding among the people of the subcontinent with other civilizations of the world.4 The region was a victim of several foreign invaders such as the Greeks, the Mongols and the Mughals, followed by Western colonial powers such as the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French and lastly the British East India company, that left after August 1947. Post independence, India holds a distinguished position in the region as a leading power, enjoying in terms of size, military and economy that has strengthened India's position in the South Asian regionalism process.