Pak isolated after SAARC nations reject Taliban request, cancel meet in New York

Published on Sep 22, 2021 12:13 PM IST
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SAARC foreign ministers' meeting, which was scheduled for September 25, has been called off. SAARC secretariat said the meet was cancelled due to 'lack of concurrence' among member states. It is learnt that Pakistan had requested for Taliban participation in the meeting which led to the cancellation. Pakistan did not want the permanent representative appointed by the toppled Afghan regime to attend the meeting. The meet was to be held in New York on the sidelines of the 76th UN General Assembly session. SAARC brings together Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. The grouping has been largely moribund since its 19th summit which was to be held in Islamabad in 2016. The meet was cancelled after an attack on an Indian Army camp at Uri that was blamed on Pak-based terrorists. Indo-Pak relations had also affected SAARC’s functioning which operates on the principle of consensus. India has sought to broaden regional cooperation through other groupings that exclude Pakistan. In recent years, strains in Indo-Pak relations have been reflected at SAARC meetings in New York. In 2019, Pak foreign minister had boycotted his Indian counterpart's speech at Saarc meet. Shah Mahmood Qureshi had boycotted it to protest changes in Jammu & Kashmir's special status.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021