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Highlights:

  • Pakistan reportedly demanded having the Taliban as representatives of Afghanistan
  • Several reports claimed that India along with some other members were against the demand, after which the meeting had to be canceled due to “lack of concurrence”
  • Pakistan was not eager to let any official from the previous Ghani led government participate in the meeting

A meeting of foreign ministers of member nations of the South Asian Association of Regional Association (SAARC) was called off as Pakistan reportedly proposed to have the Taliban as representatives of Afghanistan.

The SAARC is a regional intergovernmental organization of the South Asian countries that includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. In 2007, Afghanistan was the latest introduction to the bloc.

Several reports claimed that India along with some other members were against the demand, after which the meeting had to be canceled due to “lack of concurrence”. The new Taliban regime formed earlier this month, is yet to be officially recognized by most nations including India who enquired on the non-inclusive nature of the government. Many of its top ministers are blacklisted by the United Nations.

According to reports, Pakistan has agreed to an empty chair as a representative of Afghanistan but was not eager to let any official from the previous Ghani-led government participate in the meeting. Moreover, Pakistan had proposed that a Taliban member may take part in the event that was scheduled to take place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York this week. Following the disagreements, the meeting was called off. Nepal was appointed to host the talks.

On Tuesday, an official letter was sent by the Saarc secretariat to the foreign ministers of the eight countries noted that it had received a note verbale or unsigned diplomatic correspondence from Nepal foreign ministry stating that the informal meeting of foreign ministers, which was to be conducted on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 25, “will not take place” because of the “lack of concurrence from all member states”.

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