New York (US) | Jagran News Desk: The high-level meet between foreign ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which was slated to take place on Saturday in New York, has been reportedly cancelled after Pakistan insisted that Taliban must be allowed to represent Afghanistan, reported news agency ANI quoting sources.

The SAARC is the regional intergovernmental organisation of eight countries of South Asia -- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This year, Nepal was supposed to host the meet, which is annually held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

As per ANI sources, the majority of the SAARC members had agreed to have an empty chair for Afghanistan during the meet. However, Pakistan insisted that Taliban must be allowed to represent Afghanistan after which the meet was cancelled.

Taliban had captured Kabul on August 15 and formed its government in the war-ravaged country after 20 years. However, the world remains sceptical about the new Afghan government as representatives of minorities and women have not been included in it.

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meet, had also expressed concerns over the Afghanistan situation and said that "Taliban is a non-inclusive government". He also pointed out that women, minorities have no representation in the government in Kabul.

"This raises questions about the acceptability of the new system. Representation of all sections of Afghan society, including women and minorities, is also important. And therefore, it is essential that the global community decides on the recognition of the new system in a thoughtful and collective manner," PM Modi had said.

Prime Minister Modi had also said that extremism would continue in Afghanistan fundamentalism continues. He also said that it could lead to an uncontrolled flow of drugs and illegal weapons in the war-torn country.

"Due to these, there will be a risk of instability in the entire region. The RATS (Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure) mechanism of SCO can play a positive role in monitoring these flows and enhancing information sharing," he noted.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma