Pakistan insists on Taliban presence in SAARC, foreign ministers’ meeting canceled
An informal meeting of foreign ministers of SAARC countries on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Saturday was canceled as other member countries opposed Pakistan's insistence on having a representative of the Taliban at the table.
Afghanistan became a member of SAARC in 2007.
Sources said SAARC member countries could not reach a consensus on Pakistan's request to allow the Taliban to attend Saturday's meeting which has become a customary annual event on the sidelines of the UNGA session in New York.
As a result, the meeting of foreign ministers from eight South Asian countries -- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan -- was canceled.
A senior Indian government official said Pakistan insisted that the Taliban attend the meeting, but no other member-country agreed to this.
The international community is yet to recognise the Taliban whose senior members are still blacklisted by the United Nations and are on "wanted" lists by American agencies.