The Foreign Secretaries of these nations met from time to time and identified areas for possible co-operation. These relate to industry, health, agriculture, meteorology, rural development, postal services, telecommunications sports and culture, tourism and transport.
The first ministerial meeting of these countries was held in New Delhi on August 1-2. 1983.
The foreign ministers expressed their resolve to strengthen their mutual co-operation in order to promote the welfare and improve the quality of life of the people. The general declaration spelt out the planning nucleus and the financial arrangements for South Asian co-operation which was aimed at initiating active cooperation and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, scientific and agricultural fields.
They agreed to meet once a year to review progress. They agreed to recommend to their respective heads of governments that they meet at their level and the first Summit is being held in Dhaka on December 7-- 8.
This association came into being with the primary objective for the improvements in the quality of their life so that they can live in peace and prosperity. The 955 million people who live in practically every environment known to the human race constitute wealth of culture which is their identity and heritage. In this regional co-operation the societies and their structure are quite diverse but their hopes and expectations are identical.
The problems that face the countries of the region are both complex and varied in character.
Most important is the challenge of social and economic development in the face of continued deterioration of the international economic situation.
We are confronted with the problems of production, employment, education, health and rapid I in-crease of population. The natural resources in all these countries have not yet been utilised to their fullest extent. As better planning and greater exchange of information and technology and wider degree of co-operation we can make certainly optimum use of our resources.
The development of our economic factors in regional co-operation and greater emphasis on collective South Asian self-reliance signifies an important dimension, If by a systematic exploitation of our resource, through the process of regional co-operation we in South Asia are able to build our collective economic strength, then this can have beneficial result for the socio-economic progress of the region.
The second meeting of the Technical Committee on postal services, held in Thimphu in November 1984, recommended that on the eve of the meeting of the Heads of South Asia Countries to be held in Dhaka in December 1985, the SAARC countries may issue commemorative postage stamps to mark the historic occasion. The formal release of the commemorative postage stamps is to be done by the respective Heads of the countries/government at the Summit venue, and postal administrations will arrange to release the stamps simultaneously in their respective countries.
To commemorate the occasions Pakistan Post Office is issuing two postage stamps of Re 1/- & Rs 2/, value on December 8, 1985.