The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economical and geopolitical organization of eight South Asian countries that comprises India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan and new full member Afghanistan.
The idea of having a regional organization for political and economical cooperation came in 1980, when the world was focusing on making regional organizations for collateral and economical purposes, the need of a cooperation among South Asian countries was also felt. SAARC came in to being in 8th December 1985 and its first summit was held in Dhaka. The founding members of the organization were India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal. The organization expanded it members by adding Afghanistan in 2005.
So far 18th Summits of this regional cooperation have been held in different member coutries Pakistan also has hosted the SAARC Summit twice in 1988 and 2004. This year the two days Summit is taking place in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The SSARC secretariat has established following regional centers to promote regional cooperation. This also tells that SAARC is focused on working on the following programs for regional development.
- SAARC Agricultural Centre (SAC), Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- SAARC Meteorological Research Centre (SMRC), Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- SAARC Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS Centre (STAC), Kathmandu, Nepal.
- SAARC Documentation Centre (SDC), New Delhi, India.
- SAARC Human Resources Development Centre (SHRDC), Islamabad, Pakistan.
- SAARC Coastal Zone Management Centre (SCZMC), Maldives.
- SAARC Information Centre (SIC), Nepal.
- SAARC Energy Centre (SEC), Pakistan.
- SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC), India.
- SAARC Forestry Centre (SFC), Bhutan.
- SAARC Cultural Centre (SCC), Sri Lanka
Other than these areas of development SAARC members put emphasis on fighting the war against terror in the region with unity. The Summit also focus to eradicate political rivalries among its member states through dialogues to maintain tranquility in the region.