powerful country of South Asia

Top 5 Powerful Nations In South Asia

  • blog
  • 13th Apr, 2021
powerful country of South Asia

As the name itself suggests, South Asia is the southern region of the Asian continent. This region’s name is defined in both ethnocultural and geographical terms. This region has the Himalayas, Pamir mountains, and the Karakoram in the north and the Indian ocean in the southern part. On the Eastern side are countries like Burma and China in the Southeast Asian region and on the western side of the South Asian region are Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgystan that lie in the Western Asian region.

There might not be many countries in this region because it only has a handful of countries which include Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. However, some of the countries here are ranked as the most powerful nations worldwide. India is one of the largest countries in size with the second largest population in the world which keeps it in the 4th position in the Global Military Strength Ranking. It is followed by Pakistan which stands at 15th position and then these countries are followed by Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri-Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan at 45th, 74th, 90th, 120th and 137th simultaneously.

Looking at the global rankings of the powerful nations, there is a huge gap between one country and another of the South Asian region,

So let us know about the 5 powerful nations in South Asia starting from the bottom position to the top.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Flag

Srilanka is a comparatively smaller country with an area of 65,610 km2 (ranked 120th in the area) and a population of 21, 803, 000 (ranked (43rd in population). Sri Lankan Army with the Sri Lanka Armed Forces, Navy, and Air Force come under the purview of the Ministry of Defence. All these armies and forces include around 346,000 personnel and 36,000 reserves. There are also paramilitary units which include Civil Security Force, Special Task Force, and Sri Lanka Coast Guard. Ever since Sri Lanka got independent in 1948, the main focus has been internal security. For the last 30 years, the armed forces have been in a continuously mobilized state. Globally it is ranked as the 90th powerful country in Military Strength.


Afghanistan is a country similar to Sri Lanka but with a larger area of 652,230 km2 (ranked 40th in the area) and a population of 38,054,754 (ranked ). Afghanistan has Afghan Armed Forces under the Ministry of Defence. It includes Afghan National Army (ANA), and, Afghan Air Force (AAF). Focusing on producing more and skilled armed forces there is Afghan Defence University which includes the National Military Academy of Afghanistan. Afghanistan stands in the 74th position in the Global Military Strength Ranking.


Bangladesh has an area of 148,460 km2 (ranked 92nd in the area) and a population of 161, 376, 708 (ranked 8th in population). Influenced by the British and British Indian Army Bangladeshi Army has inherited their institutional framework which has helped them gain such a high rank. Since the country also has a huge population, the active personnel strength of the Bangladesh Army is about 157, 500. In addition to that, there are 24,000 more in the Air force and Navy. They have guided-missile frigates, submarines, cutters, and aircraft along with Russian multi-role fighter jets. Bangladesh Ranks in the 45th position in the Global Military Strength Ranking.


With an area of 881, 913 km2 (ranked 33rd in the area), and a population of 212,228,286 (ranked 5th in population) Pakistan is included in one of the most powerful countries in the world. Pakistan’s armed forces are ranked as the eighth largest in terms of numbers in full-time service in the world. They have about 617,000 personnel active on duty with 513,000 reservists as found in 2010. Under the Joint Staff headquarters is Air headquarter, Navy headquarter and Army General headquarter. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, it was found that Pakistan was the 9th largest importer and recipient of arms between 2012 and 2016 so we can imagine the size and variety of their arsenal. In the Global Military Strength Ranking, it sits at 15th position.


India is one of the largest countries with an area of 3,287,263 km2 (ranked 7th in the area) and a whopping population of 1,352,642,280 (ranked 2nd in population). India is one of the largest power in the world with a huge population and area which contributes to the enormous military personnel in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. India has had many wars with Pakistan and has been having conflicts on the border so it has even conducted a nuclear test. There are about 1.395 million active troops in India which is the world’s second-largest military. It has made a policy of no first use nuclear policy because of the criticism and military sanctions. However, its possession and capacity of holding a nuclear weapon show its strength in the world. It also possesses many fighting jets, surface-to-air missile defense systems which have made it the world’s 4th country in Global Military Strength Ranking.