Pakistan is going to host the 19th SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Summit in Islamabad (capital city) and Murree on November 9 and 10, 2016. It will be the meeting of the head of states or head of government of the eight SAARC countries. Besides, nine observers of SAARC have also been invited to attend the Summit. The 19th SAARC Summit was held in Kathmandu, Nepal in November 2014 with the theme Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity. It had focused on enhancing connectivity between the member states for easier transit-transport across the region
- SAARC is a regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union in South Asia. It promotes development of economical and regional integration. As of 2015, SAARC member countries compromise of 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 9.12% of the global economy. Member Countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan (joined in 2007). Nine observer states: Australia, China, European Union, Japan, Iran, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Korea, and United States.
- Formation History: The idea for the SAARC was proposed by Ziaur Rahman, the then President of Bangladesh on May 2, 1980. The seven founding countries had met for first time in April 1981 and then in 1985, they created SAARC Charter. The first SAARC summit was held in Dhaka (Bangladesh) in December 1985. The SAARC Secretariat was established in Kathmandu (Nepal) on 16 January 1987.