The Future: South Asia as a Region and a Player in the World System
This chapter examines continuing efforts to create a national identity in the region and the rise of militant Islam. As South Asia emerges as an important factor in world affairs, the region must address the most serious issues that can harm its development and growth. The strategic location of South Asia makes it an area of importance in the world system. India's relations with China appeared to be close after communist forces gained power in 1949. Pakistan's relations with the Soviet Union, never very close to begin with, were severely damaged by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. At independence Bangladesh found itself in close association with India and the Soviet Union and was subject to delayed recognition by the United States and China. Nepal has emerged as a major player in the region and a center of action and change that involves the attention of Pakistan, China, India, and the West.