Most of the times, the human being, compelled by its nature, never let his ego concede before his flaws. Instead, he indicts others that something wrong has been done owing to the folly of others. The same is the case with the South Asian nations that they point towards other countries (the US, Russia, and China) for the havoc in South Asia. The collisions of interests of the US, Russia, and China in South Asia have deviated the latter’s route from peace up to some extent. However, blaming the global powers responsible solely for the instability and turmoil in South Asia would be unfair.With accommodating almost a quarter of the population, having two nuclear states (India and Pakistan), and enjoying a unique geostrategic location, South Asia is a significant region in the world; having access to Central Asia, the Middle East, and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean -which acts as an energy conduit. Despite owning such immense leverage, South Asia is still an unstable and poor region. Is it only the interests of global powers have thrust this region into the crisis of instability and turmoil? The answer is nay. India and Pakistan the two instrumental countries of South Asia are at loggerheads since 1947. The stalemate between both countries is owing to two different reasons; Pakistan wants to talk on Kashmir and India on terrorism. However, either country is willing to address each other’s reservations. Even the US opines that Pak-India ties are crucial for peace in South AsiaSAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) the intergovernmental organization aims to strengthen the South Asian region by the cooperation of member states. However, for many years it seems feeble in its appeal to purge South Asia of instability. It is hostage to the bilateral tensions between Pakistan and India. SAARC summits often witness a quorum of representatives from the member states, which is the testimony that member countries do not exhibit serious stance in sorting regional issues. Recently, Indian authorities have hinted not to attend the SAARC summit that is going to be held in Pakistan ahead. Last SAARC summit scheduled in 2016 did not take place as India backed out following the terrorist attack on army camp Uri. Later, Afghanistan, Bhutan, and Bangladesh decided to not attend the Summit. And now, in a recent move, Indian diplomat walked out of a meeting of SAARC over the presence of Pakistan occupied Kashmir’s minister. Amidst such conditions when the member countries don’t manifest ardent aspiration to sort issues on the platform of the regional organization, then how the region can portray its peaceful picture? Religious extremism, jurisprudence differences, persecution of minorities, intolerance engraved in masses, and blame game against neighboring countries have made the region susceptible to instabilityThe Kashmir issue, one of the core issues of the world is still unresolved. Even the UN seems hapless to present comprehensive policy because India is dauntless in its stance to negotiate Kashmir issue with Pakistan. Kashmir issue is created by none other than India itself. No one can put blame on foreign elements for this mess. Of the four wars fought between India and Pakistan, two wars (in 1947 and 1999) were about Kashmir. The conflict has brought about a massive death toll of Kashmiris, human rights abuse, the devastation of the economy, and environmental damage to the region. This bloody issue can be halted within no time if resolved through dialogue and contemplation by keeping innocent Kashmiris in view.Strained ties between Pakistan and Afghan government have worsened the peace matters in South Asia. The fraught terms between Pakistan and Afghanistan cannot be attributed to the global power since it is us, who don’t aspire to come on friendly terms. Blame game, diplomatic row, and interests of India in Afghanistan -to counter Pakistani influence- have worsened security matters in South Asia. Role of Pakistan and India can be instrumental in the ongoing peace process and talks in Afghanistan. South Asia is the territory of diverse cultures, religions, ethnic tribes, and languages. This heterogeneity doesn’t let the alignment of cultures and religions, thus making security situation delicate in South Asia. Religious extremism, jurisprudence differences, persecution of minorities, intolerance engraved in masses, and blame game against neighbor countries have made the region susceptible to instability. In 1990s Babari Mosque conflict created a sense of insecurity in Indian Muslims and it strengthened religious conflicts. Moreover, the ban on the cow slaughter in India has undermined the Muslim community’s sentiments. Recently, Lok Sabha in India has passed the bill which doesn’t allow migrated Muslims to become Indian Nationals. This move has irked Muslims breathing in the South Asian region. Likewise, onslaughts on Ahmadi community in Pakistan abetted religious extremism. Pakistan and India have to address these problems in their territory to float peace in the region.The region hosting majority of the poor population must realize that its prosperity is existing within its borders No one can devastate the region unless we wish. The need is just that its countries must amend their tones and ways. The states like Pakistan and India have to diminish their disputes and differences, so that a sense of cooperation may arise. For that purpose, SAARC is the best platform for developing confidence among countries. Along with it, the head of states must also be vigilant in dealing with their own countries’ affairs since development in each country would bring prosperity in the region.Published in Daily Times, January 26th 2019.