Future of Sustainable Development in South Asia (M-24)

Future of Sustainable Development in South Asia (M-24)

Publication details

  • Wednesday | 19 Feb, 2014
  • Abid Qaiyum Suleri
  • Monographs
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Abid Qaiyum Suleri

Introduction

Danish Nobel Laureate in Physics Niels Bohr once said, ‘Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.’ Fortunately, he did not say the same thing about hopes and dreams even when these two have the same relationship with the future as predictions – all are premised on factors found or missing in the past and the present. Any talk about the future of sustainable development in South Asia, in the same vein, has to be a combination of predictions, with apologies to Mr. Bohr, as well as of hopes and dreams. And like all predictions, futuristic hopes and dreams are based upon factors which we already see around us. These factors are divided here into ‘mega trends’ and ‘game changers’. While the former are phenomena which are visible and verifiably present in all countries in South Asia, the latter are essentially natural or human-made circumstances which may determine whether the mega trends lead to positive change in the region or they produce negative outcomes to the benefit of no one and to the loss of everyone.

The world in a few years would be radically transformed and no country-whether United States (US) or China would have hegemonic power. The empowerment of individuals and diffusion of power among states and from states to other actors within states would have dramatic impact on the discourse of power in the world, largely diverting power corridors from the West to the Asian region (USNIC 2012).