South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is a southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities (see below), also includes the adjoining countries on the west and the east. It is surrounded (clockwise, from west to east) by Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Asia, and Southeastern Asia.
South Asia consists of the following countries and territories:
2. British Indian Ocean Territory
8. Sri Lanka
These countries, except the British Indian Ocean Territory, are also currently members of a regional co-operation group, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which was jointly formed by them. For assumed geographic, cultural, and/or historical reasons, the following countries and territories are often included in South Asia:
Afghanistan(Otherwise considered Central Asian or Middle-Eastern) (Now a member of SAARC)
Myanmar, (Prior to August 1947, for nearly a century, it was part of the British Raj region of South Asia proper.) (Otherwise considered Southeast Asian
Tibet, PRC (Otherwise considered Central Asian) (The People’s Republic of China, which governs Tibet, is an observer member of SAARC)
The United Nations also includes Iran, but not Tibet or Burma, as part of Southern Asia:
Iran (Iran is an observer nation in SAARC) (Otherwise considered Southwest Asia)
Geophysically, the term Indian subcontinent is used to describe those regions which lie on the Indian Plate, bordered on the north by the Eurasian Plate. However, a good proportion of the Pakistani land mass is not on the Indian plate, but on the fringes of the Iranian plateau. As in the case of the Hindukush mountains, everything to the south-east of the Iranian Plateau is considered South Asia. But, geopolitically, Southern Asia subsumes the Indian subcontinent and includes both, the territories found internal to the Indian Plate and those in proximity to it. Afghanistan, for instance, is sometimes grouped in this region due to socio-political, historical, and ethnic (Pashtun) ties to neighbouring Pakistan.