The Global Peace Index (GPI) 2016 report claims that Bhutan is the most peaceful country in South Asia.
The Himalayan country is followed by neighbouring Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, the over all situations in South Asia are not good and the region’s position remained unchanged at eighth out of the nine regions. As per the report, Afghanistan, Nepal and India have failed to get satisfactory individual overall scores, although Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan’s scores improved modestly.
Among the top three countries in South Asia, internal security situation has deteriorated in Bangladesh mainly because of the anti-government protests there. Protests have prompted the Sheikh Hasina government to detain huge number of people, said the report prepared by Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). Interestingly, IEP found that the peace situation was far better in Bangladesh compared to Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Iceland has secured the top position in the 10th edition of the GPI. The Nordic island nation, which has emerged as the world’s most peaceful country, is followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand and Portugal. On the other hand, Somalia, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Syria have found their places at the bottom of the index. As all of these five countries are suffering from ongoing conflicts, they are considered as least peaceful.
Europe has successfully retained its position as the most peaceful region, accounting for six of the first seven places in the global rankings. However, the average score for Europe has deteriorated slightly due to increasing incidents of terrorism. At the same time, the gap between the most and least peaceful countries has widened, with overall global levels of peace deteriorating steadily.
The report states: “The rising global inequality in peace is important to highlight as it masks some positive trends. While some of the most peaceful nations have reached historic levels of peace, the least peaceful nations have become even less peaceful. So intense is the violence and conflict in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region that, when looking at the rest of the world, the average levels of peacefulness in fact increased.”