‘S Asia should learn from EU, Asean’Former High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh and Malaysia Veena Sikri has said that there is a need of change in the mindset of South Asian countries to achieve common mutual benefits.
Sikri, also a professor, made such remark while addressing a programme organised by Tribhuvan University on India’s relations with its neighbouring countries.
She said the South Asian countries need to look beyond the national boundaries and sovereignty to promote shared benefits in the region. “We need to learn from the European Union (EU) and Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean),” Sikri said. She also focused on the need to make the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation proactive and strengthen its implementation aspect.
Sikri said the Indian foreign policy is deeply rooted to its domestic objectives and that other countries in the region too need to focus on their domestic issues and maintain a policy of looking around.
Former Nepali Ambassador to Switzerland Shambhu Ram Simkhada said that Nepal and India have failed to share common mutual benefits despite having unlimited possibilities. He said Nepal needs to put its political house in order and overcome the problem of over politicization of its policy towards India by developing national consensus among main political actors while the Indian side should provide better reorganisation to its Nepal policy.
Sikri was also the first secretary for Press, Information and Culture and head of Chancery at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu from April, 1981 to September, 1983.