The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) consists of eight nations: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. South Asia qualifies as a region only in institutional terms. The eight SAARC members constitute it. Till 2007 when Afghanistan was not in SAARC it was not considered South Asian. In the United States the notion of South Asia developed in the aftermath of the Second World War as an offshoot of Oriental Studies, the backbone of which was Indology. If there was no clear concept of South Asia in Western academic and strategic thinking in the case of India it was not any better. India’s consciousness about its pre-eminence in the region was so overpowering that it viewed an Indo-centric regionalism to be its destiny. In promoting intra-regional trade SAARC’s record is dismal. It is as little as 5 per cent of the region’s total international trade.