Shah-Mahmood-QureshiPakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in an interview with The New York Times published Sunday, said that the ambassador of the United Nations from Afghanistan’s toppled regime had no standing and that the war-torn country’s seat at the UN should remain vacant for now. Ghulam Isaczai, who so far remains the officially recognised envoy of Afghanistan at the UN, is listed to speak in the General Assembly on Monday when the 193-member body concludes its high-level debate. Isaczai was appointed by former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani a couple of months before the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Taliban have requested that Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban spokesman in Doha replace Isaczai and be permitted to speak at the General Assembly. In the interview, FM Qureshi said it remained to be seen whether the Taliban’s request was justified. But he also said Isaczai’s right to represent Afghanistan at the United Nations was not defensible because his government had collapsed and its president, Ashraf Ghani, had fled abroad. “Who is he speaking for,” FM Qureshi asked about Isaczai. The best short-term solution for Afghanistan’s UN seat, he said, is “keep it empty.” He also dismissed the idea of even talking to Isaczai. “What good would it do?” he said. “To me he’s of no use.” UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in an emailed message that “as for now, the Afghanistan representative inscribed on the list for Monday is Mr Ghulam M. Isaczai.” The question over who should be Afghanistan’s rightful representative at the United Nations is to be taken up by the General Assembly’s Credentials Committee, a nine-member group that includes China, Russia and the United States.