Many of the international associations of the countries of South Asia derive from their special sense of kinship with other former colonial nations, especially those of Asia and Africa. The Colombo Conference of South-East Asian Prime Ministers in 1954 and the epochal First Afro-Asia Conference, held at Bandung in 1955, are but two of the many related events noted on plate IX.E.1.
For Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Maldives, and now Bangla- desh, being a part of the Islamic world has special significance in international relations. India, too, because of its large Mus- lim population (roughly equal to that of Pakistan or Bangla- desh and far more than that of any Middle Eastern nation) has sought to have a voice in certain essentially Islamic coun- sels, normally in the face of Pakistani opposition. India's de- sire to attend and its exclusion from the Rabat Islamic Summit Conference in 1969 provides a case in point. With two of its fellow Muslim nations, Iran and Turkey, Pakistan has devel- oped particularly warm relations. Dating back to their com- mon membership in the Baghdad Pact (1955) the entente be- tween these three states has been greatly strengthened since the creation in 1964 of the highly successful RCD (Regional Co- operation for Development).
Apart from the aforementioned significance of the Muslim minority within the Indian population, India's foreign policy toward Pakistan has caused her to be particularly sensitive to the concerns of the world's numerous Muslim nations, whom she cannot afford to alienate lest she might lose their votes on crucial issues of concern to her in the United Nations General Assembly. Among the Arab states. Egypt in particular has as- sumed a prominent place in India's diplomacy, especially since their Friendship Treaty of 1955. These two nations, together with Yugoslavia since 1956, have consulted more or less regu- larly and sought as a group to lead the nonaligned nations of the world.
On balance, it is difficult to say whether the nations of South Asia have, individually and as a group, had as much of a say as they should have had in determining the course of world events since 1947. For some perspective on this question, the pie graphs on plate IX.E.1 may prove of use. Given the knowl- edge that nearly one-fifth of the world's population inhabits South Asia, one might regard its role in world affairs as unduly small. On the other hand, in light of the fact that the region accounts for little more than 3 percent of the gross world prod- uct, one might reach a totally different conclusion. In any event, whatever power South Asia might potentially wield, the fact that the region lacks unity and often pulls in different, even opposite, directions in international affairs greatly reduces
Much of the information for this map plate was derived from news digests, especially the Asian recorder, Facts on file, and Keesing's contemporary archives, supplemented in part by con- temporary newspaper accounts. Additionally, apart from other sources cited in the General Bibliography, the following were utilized:
General References (all for various years)
The international year book and stateman's who's who; The statesman's yearbook; United Nations, Office of Public Infor- mation (1968, 1971); Yearbook of the United Nations.
M. Ahmad (1968); S. M. Burke (1973); K. B. Callard (1959); L. L. Fabian (1971); Sisir Gupta (1964); K. S. Hasan (1960); Karachi University (1964); K. P. Karunakaran (1952, 1958); J. C. Kundra (1955); Military year book, 1969; N. D. Palmer (1966); K. R. Pillai (1969); M. S. Rajan (1964); L. P. Singh (1966); Sangat Singh (1970); D. W. Wainhouse et al. (1966).