File photo | PM Narendra Modi and leaders from SAARC nations during a video conference on Covid-19 on 15 March 2020 | ANI
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New Delhi: South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) foreign ministers meet slated to be held on Saturday in New York has been cancelled.

It is learnt from reliable sources that Pakistan wanted the Taliban to represent Afghanistan in the SAARC meet. India along with some other members objected to the proposal and due to lack of consensus or concurrence meet has been cancelled.
Nepal was the host of the meet, which is annually held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly

Taliban has not been recognised by India to date. The new regime in Kabul is still not recognised by the world and top cabinet ministers are blacklisted by the UN.
Amir Khan Muttaqi is the acting foreign minister of the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan and he is unlikely to attend any UN and affiliated meetings.

In fact, last week Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meet said that the Taliban is a non-inclusive government, the world must think before accepting or recognising the regime in Afghanistan.
He also pointed out that women, minorities have no representation in the government in Kabul.

The SAARC is the regional intergovernmental organization of eight countries of South Asia–Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

It is learnt that the majority of members in SAARC agreed that empty chair can be kept for Afghanistan during the meet. However, Pakistan did not agree and the meet was called off.SAARC Secretariat told ANI that the meeting was cancelled due to the lack of concurrence from all member states as of today.


Also read: Jaishankar discusses Afghanistan situation & Indo-Pacific with global counterparts at UNGA


 

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