South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) foreign ministers' meeting has been cancelled as the member states could not arrive at a consensus on Pakistan's request to allow the participation of Taliban, reports said on September 21.
The meeting was to be held on September 25, at sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
News agency ANI has confirmed that the meeting has been called off by the SAARC member nations.
According to an India Today report, the Pakistan government insisted on the participation of Taliban, which usurped power in Afghanistan last month after overthrowing the Ashraf Ghani-led government.
Sources told the news channel that most countries of the South Asian bloc refused to entertain Pakistan's request for Taliban's participation in the talks.
A communique reportedly issued by the Government of Nepal noted that the SAARC foreign ministers' meeting has been called off due to the "lack of concurrence from all Member States".
According to India Today, Pakistan not only insisted on Taliban's participation, but also marked its objection to the proposal to allow a member of the ousted Ashraf Ghani-led government to represent Kabul in the meeting.
Notably, the SAARC bloc includes eight members - India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan -- which was admitted into the group in 2007.
Apart from eight full-time members, SAARC has nine observers, including Japan, Mauritius, Myanmar, the European Union (EU), Iran, South Korea, Australia, the US and China -- which has been playing an active geopolitical role in South Asia region.