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South Asia - The Islamic Encyclopedia, History, People, Places

South Asia

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South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities (see below), also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as the Indian subcontinent south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is surrounded (clockwise, from west) by Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Asia, Southeastern Asia and the Indian Ocean.

According to the United Nations geographical region classification,[1] Southern Asia comprises the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka. By other definitions and interpretations (see below), Myanmar and Tibet are also sometimes included in the region of South Asia.

South Asia is home to well over one fifth of the world's population, making it both the most populous and most densely populated geographical region in the world.[2] The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is an economic cooperation organization in the region.

Contents

Definitions

Along with a number of core countries, South Asia differs in inclusion by different clubbing of countries, though essentially it mostly encompasses countries that were part of the former British Empire in the region,[3] including the current territories of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh at the core, but also including Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Sikkim (now a state of India).[4] The Aden Colony, British Somaliland and Singapore, though administered at various times under the Raj have not been proposed as any part of South Asia.[5]

The Raj also encompassed the 562 protected princely states that were not directly ruled by the Raj,[6] some of which joined the Union of India (including Hyderabad State, Kingdom of Mysore, Baroda, Gwalior and a part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir), while some joined the Dominion of Pakistan (including Bahawalpur, Kalat, Khayrpur, Swat and parts of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir ).[7][8] Sikkim joined India in 1975.[9] One part of Jammu and Kashmir became a part of China.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), a contiguous block of countries, started in with seven countries — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — when it was established in 1985, but was extended to include Afghanistan as an eighth member in 2006.[10][11] The World Bank grouping includes only the original seven members of SAARC, and leaves Afghanistan out.[12] This bloc of countries include three independent countries that were not under the British rule - Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan. The South Asia Free Trade Agreement endorsed by SAARC has been signed by the seven original members of the organization, though it has a special provision for the Maldives.[13]

The United Nations Population Information Network (POPIN) includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as part of South Asia, while Maldives, in view of its characteristics, was admitted as a member country of the Pacific POPIN subregional network in principle.[14] Culturally, though not politically, Tibet has been identified as a part of South Asia,[15] while the British Indian Ocean Territory has been connected to the region for security considerations.[16] The United Nations scheme of sub-regions include all eight members of the SAARC as part of Southern Asia, along with Iran,[17] while the Hirschmann-Herfindahl Index of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for the region includes only the original seven signatories of SAARC.[18]

Afghanistan is otherwise considered as Central Asian or Middle-Eastern, Burma as Southeast Asian, and Tibet is otherwise considered Central Asian or East Asian.[19] A lack of coherent definition for South Asia has resulted in not only a lack of academic studies, but also in a lack interest for such studies.[20] Identification with a South Asian identity was also found to be significantly low among respondents in a two-year survey across Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.[21]

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Indian subcontinent

Main article: Indian subcontinent

The term "Indian subcontinent" refers to a large, self-contained landmass which is geographically separated from the rest of the Asian continent.[22] Due to similar scope, the terms "South Asia" and "Indian subcontinent" are used by some academics interchangeably.[22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31] Due to political sensitivities, some prefer to use the terms "South Asian Subcontinent",[32] the "Indo-Pak Subcontinent",[33] or simply "South Asia"[34] or "the Subcontinent" over the term "Indian subcontinent". According to some academics, the term "South Asia" is in more common use in Europe and North America, rather than the terms "Subcontinent" or the "Indian Subcontinent".[35][36] Indologist Ronald B. Inden argues that the usage of the term "South Asia" is getting more widespread since it clearly distinguishes the region from East Asia.[37] However, this opinion is not shared by all.[38]

By dictionary entries, the term subcontinent signifies "having a certain geographical or political independence" from the rest of the continent,[39] or "a vast and more or less self-contained subdivision of a continent."[40] It may be noted that geophysically the Tsang Po river in Tibet is situated at the outside of the border of the Subcontinental structure, while the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan is situated inside that border.[41]

According to one clubbing of countries, it includes most parts of South Asia, including those on the continental crust (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan), an island country on the continental shelf (Sri Lanka), and an island country rising above the oceanic crust (the Maldives).[42] Another clubbing includes only Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, the mainstay of the British Raj, as the Subcontinent.[43]

This version also includes the disputed territory of Aksai Chin, which was part of British Indian princely state Jammu and Kashmir, but is now administered as a part of Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang. A booklet published by the United States Department of State in 1959 includes Afghanistan, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India, Nepal, and Pakistan as part of the "Subcontinent of South Asia".[44] When the term Indian Subcontinent is used to mean South Asia, the islands countries of Sri Lanka and the Maldives are sometimes not included,[45] while Tibet and Nepal are included[46] and excluded[47] intermittently, depending on the context.

Definition by South Asian Studies programs

Template:See also When the Centre of South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge established in 1964, it was primarily responsible for promoting within the University the study of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Himalayan Kingdoms (Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim[48]), and Burma (now officially Myanmar). But, over the years it has also extended its activities to include Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines and Hong Kong.[49] The Centers for South Asian Studies at both University of Michigan and University of Virginia list Tibet along with seven members of SAARC as a South Asian country, leaving the Maldives out.[50][51] The South Asian Studies Program of Rutgers University and the University of California, Berkeley Center for South Asia Studies do the same without leaving out the Maldives,[52][53] while the South Asian Studies Program of Brandeis University defines the region as comprising "India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and in certain contexts Afghanistan, Burma, Maldives and Tibet".[54] The similar program of Columbia University also includes Tibet, but leaves out both Afghanistan and the Maldives.[55]

Geography

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While South Asia had never been a coherent geopolitical region, it has a distinct geographical identity.[56] The boundaries of South Asia vary based on how the region is defined. South Asia's northern, eastern, and western boundaries vary based on definitions used, while the Indian Ocean is the southern periphery. Much of the region comprises a peninsula in south-central Asia, rather resembling a diamond which is delineated by the Himalayas on the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Arakanese in the east,[57] and which extends southward into the Indian Ocean with the Arabian Sea to the southwest and the Bay of Bengal to the southeast.[22][58] Per the UN, the wider subregion's northern frontier is the Himalayas and southerly post-Soviet states of Central Asia (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, bordering northern Afghanistan and Iran), its western boundary is the westerly border of Iran (with Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, and Iraq), and its eastern boundary is the westerly border of Burma (with India and Bangladesh).

Most of this region is a subcontinent resting on the Indian Plate (the northerly portion of the Indo-Australian Plate) separated from the rest of the Eurasian Plate. It was once a small continent before colliding with the Eurasian Plate about 50-55 million years ago and giving birth to the Himalayan range and the Tibetan plateau. It is the peninsular region south of the Himalayas and Kuen Lun mountain ranges and east of the Indus River and the Iranian Plateau, extending southward into the Indian Ocean between the Arabian Sea (to the southwest) and the Bay of Bengal (to the southeast).

The region is home to an astounding variety of geographical features, such as glaciers, rainforests, valleys, deserts, and grasslands that are typical of much larger continents. It is surrounded by three water bodies — the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. The climate of this vast region varies considerably from area to area from tropical monsoon in the south to temperate in the north. The variety is influenced by not only the altitude, but also by factors such as proximity to the sea coast and the seasonal impact of the monsoons.

Southern parts are mostly hot in summers and receive rain during monsoon period(s). The northern belt of Indo-Gangetic plains also is hot in summer, but cooler in winter. The mountainous north is colder and receives snowfall at higher altitudes of Himalyan ranges. As the Himalayas block the north-Asian bitter cold winds, the temperatures are considerably moderate in the plains down below. For most part, the climate of the region is called the Monsoon climate, which keeps the region humid during summer and dry during winter, and favors the cultivation of jute, tea, rice, and various vegetables in this region.

History

Template:See The remote pre-history of South Asia culminates in the Indus Valley Civilization, which is followed by the legends of ancient Vedic period and the sketchy references to the rise and fall of Mahajanapadas - the precursors of regional kingdoms and later ancient empires - ending in the historical accounts of medieval empires and the arrival of European traders who later became the rulers.

Almost all South Asian countries were under direct or indirect European Colonial subjugation at some point. Much of modern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar were gradually occupied by Great Britain - starting from 1757, reaching their zenith in 1857 and ruling till 1947. Nepal and Bhutan were to some extent protectorates of Great Britain until after World War II. In the millennia long history of South Asia, this European occupation period is rather short, but its proximity to the present and its lasting impact on the region make it prominent.

The network of means of transportation and communication as well as banking and training of requisite workforce, and also the existing rail, post, telegraph, and education facilities have evolved out of the base established in the colonial era, often called the British Raj. As an aftermath of World War II, most of the region gained independence from Europe by the late 1940s.

Tibet at times has governed itself as an independent state and at other times has had various levels of association with China,[59][60] it came under Chinese control in the 18th century[60][61][62][63] in spite of British efforts to seize possession of this Chinese protectorate at the beginning of the 20th century.[64] Tibetan and Chinese views on the Sino-Tibetan relation vary significantly. The Tibetans saw the Dalai Lama's relation with the Manchu emperor in more of a religious light than what would be considered political.[62]

Since 1947, most South Asian countries have achieved tremendous progress in all spheres.[citation needed] Most notable achievements are in the fields of education; industry; health care; information technology and other services based on its applications; research in the fields of cutting edge sciences and technologies; defence related self-reliance projects; international/global trade and business enterprises and outsourcing of human resources. Areas of difficulty remain, however, including religious extremism, high levels of corruption, disagreements on political boundaries, and inequitable distribution of wealth.

Territory and region data

2009 referenced population figures except where noted.

Core countries

With the core seven countries, the area covers about 4.4 million km² (1.7 million mi²), which is 10% of the Asian continent or 2.4% of the world's land surface area.[65][66][67] They accounts for about 34% of Asia's population (or over 16.5% of the world's population) and is home to a vast array of peoples.[65][66][67]

country Area
(km²)
Population(2009) density
(/km²)
GDP(nominal)
(2009)
per capita
(2009)
Capital Currency Government Official languages Coat of Arms
 Bangladesh 147,570 162,221,000[68] 1,099 $100,002 million $551 Dhaka Taka Parliamentary democracy Bengali 50px
Template:Country data Bhutan 38,394 697,000[68] 18 $1,269 million $1,832 Thimphu Ngultrum, Indian rupee Constitutional monarchy Dzongkha 50px
 India 3,287,240 1,210,193,422[69] 382[70] $1,537,966 million[71] $1,265 New Delhi Indian rupee Federal republic, Parliamentary democracy 22 official languages 50px
Template:Country data Maldives 298 396,334[68] 1,330 $1,357 million $4,388 Malé Rufiyaa Republic Dhivehi 50px
Template:Country data Nepal 147,181 29,331,000[68] 200 $12,615 million $427 Kathmandu Nepalese rupee Democratic Republic Nepali 50px
 Pakistan 803,940 180,808,000[68] 225 $166,515 million $981 Islamabad Pakistani rupee Islamic Republic Urdu, English[72] 50px
Template:Country data Sri Lanka 65,610 20,238,000[68] 309 $41,323 million $2,068 Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte Sri Lankan rupee Democratic Socialist Republic Sinhala, Tamil, English 50px

Countries and territories from extended definitions

Afghanistan is included in the list of countries of South Asia more often than others in this group.

country or region Area
(km²)
Population
(2009)
density
(per km²)
GDP(nominal)
(2009)
per capita
(2009)
Capital Currency Government Official languages Coat of Arms
 Afghanistan 647,500 33,609,937[68] 52 $14,044 million $486 Kabul Afghan afghani Islamic republic Dari (Persian), Pashto[73] 50px
Template:Country data British Indian Ocean Territory 60 3,500 59 N/A N/A Diego Garcia US Dollar British Overseas Territory English 50px
Template:Country data Burma 676,578 48,137,141[68][74] 71 $27,553 million $459 Yangon Myanma kyat Military Junta Burmese; Jingpho, Shan, Karen, Mon, (Spoken in Burma's Autonomous States.) 50px
 Iran 1,648,195 70,495,782 (2006 Census)[75][76] 40 $330,461 million $4,459 Tehran Iranian rial Islamic republic Persian, Constitutional status for regional languages[77] 50px
Template:Country data PRC - Tibet Autonomous Region 1,228,400 2,740,000 2 $6,458 million $2,357 Lhasa Chinese yuan Autonomous region of China Mandarin Chinese, Tibetan

Regional groups of countries

Name of country/region, with flag Area
(km²)
Population* Population density
(per km²)
Capital or Secretariat Currency Countries included Official languages Coat of Arms
Core Definition (above) of South Asia 3,989,969 1,596,000,000 400.1 N/A N/A Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka N/A N/A
UN subregion of South Asia 6,285,724 1,702,000,000 270.77 N/A N/A Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka N/A N/A
SAARC 4,637,469 1,626,000,000 350.6 Kathmandu N/A Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka None 50px

Demographics

Ethnic groups

South Asia, which consists of the nations of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, is ethnically diverse, with more than 2,000 ethnic entities with populations ranging from hundreds of millions to small tribal groups. South Asia has been invaded and settled by many ethnic groups over the centuries - including various Dravidian, Indo-Aryan and Iranian groups - and amalgamation of Dravidian, Indo-Aryan and native societies has produced composite cultures with many common traditions and beliefs. But, the traditions of different ethnic groups in South Asia have diverged throughout earlier times, sometimes giving rise to strong local traditions such as the distinct South Indian culture.

Other ethnic groups, successively streaming in later mainly from Central Asia and Iran, e.g. Sakas, Kushans, Huns etc. influenced pre-existing South Asian cultures. Among the last of these new arrivals were the Arabs followed by the Turks, the Pashtuns and the Moghuls. However, Arab influence remained relatively limited in comparison to that of the Turks, Pashtuns and Moghuls, who brought in much cultural influence and contributed to the birth of Urdu, a syncretic language of combined Indo-Persian heritage, which is widely spoken today. Ethnic Englishmen and other Britons are now practically absent after their two centuries long colonial presence, although they have left an imprint of western culture in the elite society.

Languages

Template:See also The largest spoken language in this region is now Hindi, its speakers numbering almost 422 million;[78] the second largest spoken language is Bengali, with about 210 million speakers.[79] Urdu is also a major language spoken in the subcontinent, especially in Pakistan and India, and is similar linguistically to Hindi; Hindi and Urdu together make up Hindustānī. Hindi is spoken is some states of India, and is similar linguistically to Urdu. Many people are not aware of the fact that most of the Indians speak local languages and are not familiar with Hindi. Other languages of this region fall into a few major linguistic groups: the Dravidian languages and the Indo-Aryan languages, a sub-branch of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages.

The other great sub-branch of Indo-Iranian, the Iranian languages, also have significant minority representation in South Asia, with Pashtu and Baluchi being widely spoken along the northwestern fringes of the region, in modern-day Pakistan. Many Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups, who are speakers of their language-group, are found in northeast India, Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan. Other small groups, speaking Austro-Asiatic languages, are also present in South Asia. English is another language which dominates South Asia, especially as a medium of advanced education and government administration.

Most of South Asia writes using various abugidas of Brāhmī origin while languages such as Urdu, Pashto, and Sindhi use derivatives of the Perso-Arabic script. Not all languages in South Asia follow this strict dichotomy though. For example, Kashmiri is written in both the Perso-Arabic script and in the Devanagari script. The same can be said for Punjabi, which is written in both Shahmukhi and Gurmukhī. Dhivehi is written in a script called Tāna that shows characteristics of both the Arabic alphabet and of an abugida.

Religions

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In South Asia Hinduism and Islam and in some of its countries Buddhism are the dominant religions. Other Indian religions and Christianity are practiced by significant number of people.

Historically, fusion of Indo-Aryan Vedic religion with native South Asian non-Vedic Shramana traditions and other Dravidian and local tribal beliefs gave rise to the ancient religions of Hinduism and Jainism. As a consequence, these two religions share many similar cultural practices, festivals and traditions.

Arabs brought the Abrahamic religion of Islam to South Asia, first in the present day Kerala and the Maldive Islands and later in Sindh, Balochistan and much of Punjab. Subsequently, Muslim Turks/Pashtuns/Moghuls furthered it not only among the Punjabi and Kashmiri people but also throughout the Indo-Gangetic plains and farther east, and deep south up to the Deccan.

Afghanistan[73] Muslim (99%), other (1%)
Bangladesh[80] Muslim (90%), Hindu (9%), Christian (.5%), Buddhist (.5%), Believers in tribal faiths (0.1%)
British Indian Ocean Territory[81] Christian (45.55%), Hindu (38.55%), Muslim (9.25%), Non-Religious (6.50%), Atheist (0.10%), Other (0.05%)
Bhutan[82] Buddhist (75%), Hindu (25%)
Burma[83] Theravada Buddhism (89%), Muslim (4%), Christian (4%) (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Animist (1%), others (including Hinduism) (2%)
India[84][85] Hindu (80.5%), Muslim (13.4%), Christian (2.3%), Sikh (1.9%), Buddhist (0.8%), Jain (0.4%), Others (0.6%)
Iran[86] Shi'a Muslim (89%), Sunni Muslim (9%), Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i (2%)
Maldives[87] Sunni Muslim (100%) (One must be a Sunni Muslim to be a citizen on the Maldives[88][89])
Nepal[90] Hindu (80.6%), Buddhist (10.7%), Muslim (4.2%), Kirat (3.6%)
Pakistan[91] Muslim (96.28%), Hindu (1.85%), Christian (1.59%), Ahmadi (0.22%)
Sri Lanka[92] Theravada Buddhist (70.42%), Hindu (10.89%), Muslim (8.78%), Catholic (7.77%), Other Christian (1.96%), Other (0.13%)

Genetics

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Economy

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File:Mumbai Downtown.jpg
The Skyline in Mumbai. Mumbai is the city with the highest GDP of any city in South or Central Asia.[93]
South Asia is the poorest region on the earth after Sub-Saharan Africa, and it has the lowest GDP per capita. Poverty is commonly spread within this region. According to the poverty data of world bank, there was more than 40% of the population in this region lived on less than $1.25 per day in 2005, compared to 50% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa.[94]

Maldives has the highest GDP per capita in the region, while Nepal has the lowest. India is the largest economy in the region (US$ 1.54 trillion) and makes up almost 82% of the South Asian Economy; it is the world's 10th largest in nominal terms and 4th largest by purchasing power adjusted exchange rates. Pakistan has the next largest economy and the 5th highest GDP per capita in the region,[95] followed by Bangladesh. If Iran is counted, it will become the second largest in terms of region and the economy . According to a World Bank report in 2007, South Asia is the least integrated region in the world; trade between South Asian states is only 2% of the region's combined GDP, compared to 20% in East Asia.[96]

Politics

India is the dominant political power in the region.[97] It is contributed by the fact that it is by far the largest country in the covering around three-fourths the land area of the subcontinent.[98] It also has the largest population of around three times the combined population of the 6 other countries in the subcontinent.[99] India is also the most populous democracy in the world[100] and is a nuclear power. The second largest country in the subcontinent area-wise and population-wise is Pakistan and has traditionally maintained the balance of power in the region due to its strategic relationships with nearby Arab states[101] and neighbouring China.[102] Pakistan is the 6th[103] most populous country in the world and is also a nuclear power. Bangladesh is the third largest populous country in the region and identified as Next Eleven. Largest contributor of UN peace corps currently is Bangladesh after Pakistan.[citation needed]

Diplomacy among the countries of South Asia has been mainly driven by populist politics, with the center stage taken by India-Pakistan conflict ever since their independence in 1947, and then the creation of Bangladesh under tense circumstances in 1971. While the elite rulers of Pakistan chose the USA led bloc during the cold war era, India formed the Non-Aligned Movement. Over the years, while a chaotic Indian Democracy crystallized into a stable government, Pakistan degenerated into a puppet state, with no democratically elected government completing it's full term, and repeated coups by the military. On the other hand, Sri Lanka political situation was dominated by a increasingly assertive Sinhalese nationalism, and the emergence of a Tamil separatist movement under LTTE, which was suppressed recently. Myanmar's politics is dominated by a military Junta, which has sidelined the democratic forces led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

Health and nutrition

According to the World Bank, 70% of the South Asian population and about 75% of South Asia's poor live in rural areas and most rely on agriculture for their livelihood.[104] According to the Global Hunger Index, South Asia has one of the highest child malnutrition rates in the world.[105] In a latest report published by UNICEF in 2008 on global hunger shows that the actual number of child deaths was around 2.1 million.[106] As of 2008 India is ranked 66th on the global hunger index.[citation needed] The 2006 report stated that "the low status of women in South Asian countries and their lack of nutritional knowledge are important determinants of high prevalence of underweight children in the region". Corruption and the lack of initiative on the part of the government has been one of the major problems associated with nutrition in India. Illiteracy in villages has been found to be one of the major issues that need more government attention. The report mentioned that, although there has been a reduction in malnutrition due to the Green Revolution in South Asia, there is concern that South Asia has "inadequate feeding and caring practices for young children".[107]

See also

Notes and references

  1. United Nations geoscheme
  2. [1]Template:Dead link
  3. Bertram Hughes Farmer, An Introduction to South Asia, pages 1, Routledge, 1993, ISBN 0-415-05695-0
  4. Arthur Berriedale Keith, A Constitutional History of India: 1600-1935, pages 440-444, Methuen & Co, 1936
  5. United Nations, Yearbook of the United Nations, pages 297, Office of Public Information, 1947, United Nations
  6. Encyclopædia Britannica: A New Survey of Universal Knowledge (volume 4), pages 177, Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 1947
  7. Ian Copland, The Princes of India in the Endgame of Empire: 1917-1947, pages 263, Cambridge University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-521-89436-0
  8. Ben Cahoon. Pakistan Princely States. Worldstatesmen.org. Retrieved on 2010-08-23.
  9. History of Sikkim. Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Sikkim (2005-09-29). Archived from the original on 2006-07-01. Retrieved on 2006-10-12.
  10. Sarkar, Sudeshna (16 May 2007). SAARC: Afghanistan comes in from the cold. Current Affairs - Security Watch. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich. Retrieved on 06 April 2011.
  11. South Asian Organisation for Regional Cooperation (official website). SAARC Secretariat, Kathmandu, Nepal.. Retrieved on 06 April 2011.
  12. South Asia: Data, Projects and Research, The World Bank
  13. Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area, SAARC Secretariat, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
  14. Asia-Pacific POPIN Consultative Workshop Report, Asia-Pacific POPIN Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 2 (1995), pages 7-11
  15. Sheldon I. Pollock, Literary cultures in history, pages 748-749, University of California Press, 2003, ISBN 0-520-22821-9
  16. Territories (British Indian Ocean Territory), Jane's Information Group
  17. Geographical region and composition, Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings, United Nations
  18. Mapping and Analysis of Agricultural Trade Liberalization in South Asia, Trade and Investment Division (TID), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
  19. Aziz-ul-Haque,South and Central Asia: Building Economic and Political Linkages, Institute of Regional Studies (IRS), Pakistan, ISBN 978-969-8020-20-0
  20. Vernon Marston Hewitt, The international politics of South Asia, page xi, Manchester University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-7190-3392-6
  21. Kishore C. Dash, Regionalism in South Asia, pages 172-175, Routledge, 2008, ISBN 0-415-43117-4
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 (2002) The history of India - By John McLeod. Books.google.com. ISBN 9780313314599 [2]. Retrieved on 2010-08-23.  “When referring to events that occurred before the middle of the twentieth century, [this book] applies the designations South Asia, Indian Subcontinent, and India interchangeably to the area now occupied by all three countries”
  23. Milton Walter Meyer, South Asia: A Short History of the Subcontinent, pages 1, Adams Littlefield, 1976, ISBN 0-8226-0034-X
  24. Jim Norwine & Alfonso González, The Third World: states of mind and being, pages 209, Taylor & Francis, 1988, ISBN 0-04-910121-8
  25. Boniface, Brian G.; Christopher P. Cooper (2005). Worldwide destinations - By Brian G. Boniface, Christopher P. Cooper Worldwide destinations: the geography of travel and tourism. Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 9780750659970 [3]. 
  26. Judith Schott & Alix Henley, Culture, Religion, and Childbearing in a Multiracial Society, pages 274, Elsevier Health Sciences, 1996, ISBN 0750620501
  27. Raj S. Bhopal, Ethnicity, race, and health in multicultural societies, pages 33, Oxford University Press, 2007, ISBN 0198568177
  28. http://www.iata.org/ps/intelligence_statistics/cargois/south_asian.htm South Asian Subcontinent.
  29. Lucian W. Pye & Mary W. Pye, Asian Power and Politics, pages 133, Harvard University Press, 1985, ISBN 0674049799
  30. Mark Juergensmeyer, The Oxford handbook of global religions, pages 465, Oxford University Press US, 2006, ISBN 0195137981
  31. Sugata Bose & Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia, pages 3, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0415307872
  32. Lucian W. Pye & Mary W. Pye, Asian Power and Politics, pages 133, Harvard University Press, 1985, ISBN 0-674-04979-9
  33. Mark Juergensmeyer, The Oxford handbook of global religions, pages 465, Oxford University Press US, 2006, ISBN 0-19-513798-1
  34. Sugata Bose & Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia, pages 3, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0-415-30787-2
  35. Judith Schott & Alix Henley, Culture, Religion, and Childbearing in a Multiracial Society, pages 274, Elsevier Health Sciences, 1996, ISBN 0-7506-2050-1
  36. Raj S. Bhopal, Ethnicity, race, and health in multicultural societies, pages 33, Oxford University Press, 2007, ISBN 0-19-856817-7
  37. (2000) Imagining India - By Ronald B. Inden. Books.google.com. ISBN 9780253213587 [4]. Retrieved on 2010-08-23. 
  38. (2005) Worldwide destinations - By Brian G. Boniface, Christopher P. Cooper. Books.google.com. ISBN 9780750659970 [5]. Retrieved on 2010-08-23. 
  39. Oxford English Dictionary 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 1989
  40. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, Merriam-Webster, 2002. Retrieved 11 March 2007.
  41. Valentin Semenovich Burtman & Peter Hale Molnar, Geological and Geophysical Evidence for Deep Subduction of Continental Crust Beneath the Pamir, pages 10, Geological Society of America, 1993, ISBN 0-8137-2281-0
  42. Stephen Adolphe Wurm, Peter Mühlhäusler & Darrell T. Tryon, Atlas of languages of intercultural communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas, pages 787, International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies, Published by Walter de Gruyter, 1996, ISBN 3-11-013417-9
  43. After partition: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, BBC, 2007-08-08
  44. Superintendent of Documents, United States Government Printing Office, The Subcontinent of South Asia: Afghanistan, Ceylon, India, Nepal and Pakistan, United States Department of State, Public Services Division, 1959
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  46. James C. Harle, The art and architecture of the Indian subcontinent, pages 214, Yale University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-300-06217-6
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  58. "Indian subcontinent". New Oxford Dictionary of English (ISBN 0-19-860441-6) New York: Oxford University Press, 2001; p. 929: "the part of Asia south of the Himalayas which forms a peninsula extending into the Indian Ocean, between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Historically forming the whole territory of greater India, the region is now divided between India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh."
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  60. 60.0 60.1 Encyclopedia Britannica - "China, Asia", 1911, read in part: "CHINA, a country of eastern Asia, the principal division of the Chinese empire. In addition to China proper the Chinese Empire includes Manchuria, Mongolia, Tibet and Sin-kiang (East Turkestan, Kulja, Dzungaria, &c., i.e. all the Chinese dependencies lying between. Mongolia on the north and Tibet on the south)."
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  64. Gernet, J., Foster, J.R. & Hartman C., A History of Chinese Civilization, Cambridge University Press, 1982, p481, reads in part: "From 1751 onwards Chinese control over Tibet became permanent and remained so more or less ever after, in spite of British efforts to seize possession of this Chinese protectorate at the beginning of the twentieth century."
  65. 65.0 65.1 Desai, Praful B. 2002. Cancer control efforts in the Indian subcontinent. Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology. 32 (Supplement 1): S13-S16. "The Indian subcontinent in South Asia occupies 2.4% of the world land mass and is home to 16.5% of the world population...."
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