The Taliban’s first call at any international forum was answered by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which kept Afghanistan’s seat vacant obliging their request.

India tried to make room for ousted vice president Amruallah Saleh at the robust forum but the attempt was foiled by other member countries.

It is learnt that the Afghan foreign ministry wrote a letter to SCO secretariat which was shared with some members. The Kabul administration had requested that the incumbent government is deeply engaged in domestic affairs so the chair for Afghanistan should be kept vacant.

“The letter was carrying diplomatic decency. It assured the fellow members that Afghanistan would extend full cooperation for the future endeavours of the organization and continue to work for the regional peace and stability,” said a report carried by The News.

It is learnt that the communication by the Taliban administration was warmly welcomed by most of the member countries while India maintained its silence and made clandestine attempts to seek permission for Amarullah Saleh to attend the summit, who fled to Tajikistan after the Taliban took control of Panjshir.

The Indian delegation secretly contacted with Amarullah and Ahmad Masood, who are now living in the suburbs of Dushanbe.

The report added that the Indian delegation was subdued as its prime minister Narendra Modi addressed the summit via video link, who openly criticised and opposed the Taliban government.

He said that the international community shouldn’t be in a rush to recognise the new Taliban government due to its “non-inclusive” nature and the way in which it was formed, without following the negotiated path.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held several meetings in a short span of time in Dushanbe with his visiting counterparts but he avoided in shaking hands with the Indian Minister for External Affairs S Jaishankar. Both sat under the same roof for hours.

THE SCO: Russia, China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and India are all members of the China-led forum.

The 20th SCO summit marked the admission of Iran as a full member of the organisation while Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar as observers.

Afghanistan avails an observer status along some other countries of the region. Pakistan welcomed Iran’s full membership and accordance of the three countries of the observer status. 

The story was filed by the News Desk.
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