Friday, August 21, 2009
Fourth SAARC Summit (1988)
The fourth SAARC summit was held at Islamabad from 29-31 December 1988. The leaders arrived at several positive decisions including elimination of menace of drugs and terrorism. They expressed concern at the high incidence of drug production, trafficking and abuse and decided to declare 1989 as the SAARC year against drug abuses in order to focus attention on drug related problems facing the region. They stressed the need of measures at national level to fully implicate the regional convention on suppression of terrorism. They called for a perspective regional plan with specific targets of meeting basic needs to be met by the end of the century in core sectors such as food clothing shelter, education primary health core, population, planning and environmental protection. This summit welcomed the establishment of South Asian food Security Reserve in August 1988 and described it as a major break-through in the common endeavour of governments of members countries to assist each other in food emergency situation. The reiterated their determination to accord priority to the needs of children in national development plans and decided to declare 1990 as saarc year of Girl Child. Finally the leaders agreed to have a saarc passport (initially available only to MPs and Supreme Court Judges of the member countries) to facilitate travel among the seven countries. Gradually the journalists and other categories of person would also be eligible to receive in passport.
Islamabad summit was a great landmark in a number of ways. In the first instance it provided a new impetus to saarc by initiating a number of action-oriented plans with for reaching consequences for the quality of life of the people of South Asian. Secondly, it encouraged the member states their foreign policies in order to inject positive bilateralism. The signing of three important agreements between India and Pakistan during the Islamabad meeting is a clear proof of it.
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