It is certain that by cooperating on sharing resources, technology and expenses, the total cost involved can be reduced and the work rendered more efficient. However, a disadvantage is that multilateral collaboration on sensitive defence technologies is delicate at best.
This rare display of solidarity by SAARC leaders, especially when SAARC has lost its teeth and holds no relevance for the common South Asian, makes a compelling statement. Optimists and those who believe in the possibility of an integrated South Asia are tempted to take this as a signal that there might be some hope for reviving SAARC after all.
Going multilateral does not mean India should neglect or abandon existing bilateral mechanisms. In fact, robust bilateral mechanisms established by India can serve as both, the interlinks as well as the bedrock, of multilateral water cooperation in South Asia.