Earlier this week, a SAARC meeting scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session was called off as Pakistan sought the Taliban's inclusion in the meeting. Differences arose between the SAARC's member countries on the issue of who should legitimately represent Afghanistan.
On 23 September, in an interview with AP, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi urged the world community to be realistic and engage with Afghanistan. Recently, China and Qatar came forward with similar urges to the international community.
On Thursday, a Chinese foreign ministry statement quoted Foreign Minister Wang Yi, "We should redouble efforts on and speed up the provision of assistance to Afghanistan, and in particular, lend the Afghan people a helping hand in time to address their most urgent needs."
Wang Li also called for removing sanctions against the Taliban-led Afghan government and suggested the US not freeze foreign exchange reserves.
In the meantime, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani also called on world leaders to maintain ties with the Taliban. He stressed in the UN General Assembly that Qatar wants a peaceful solution to all kinds of conflicts, reported Qatari media outlet Al Jazeera.
These are interesting developments.
The Taliban's swift conquest of Afghanistan has taken security and diplomatic experts across the world by surprise. Nations were quick to withdraw their diplomats and people as soon as Kabul fell, abandoning their two decades of state-building efforts and investment.
Meanwhile, the Taliban's takeover is likely to create a dramatic upheaval in South Asia's geopolitics. It may be especially difficult for India as the country's hostile neighbours - China and Pakistan - are expected to play major roles in deciding the future of Afghanistan.
While internal politics and moral obligations compel India to distance itself from the Taliban, the country's strategic and geopolitical interests will force it to work with the new Kabul administration.
Pakistan, however, will try to exploit the situation in its favour. The Taliban's rule in Afghanistan will give Pakistan strategic advantages in South Asia over its arch-nemesis, India. On the other hand, countries such as Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka may find themselves in a pickle over which way to sway.
The reality is, the Taliban are in power for better or worse. And in the immediate future, the situation will not change unless a foreign force intervenes or civil wars ensue. However, no government in the world has yet recognised their legitimacy.
An obvious question arises: how should the world engage with the Taliban? The answer is not an easy one. But finding an appropriate answer quickly to this question is especially important for the South Asian nations.
In one way, the Western world could stay out of the Afghanistan issue, knowing the risks of engaging there. But it is a problem of their own making - the Americans are every bit responsible for what Afghanistan is today. And now they are unsure of how to deal with it. Moral compulsions might necessitate engaging there again, using different methods.
In the meantime, Pakistan is ahead of everyone in advocating the international community create a roadmap to recognise the Taliban, with incentives if they fulfil its requirements, and then sit down face to face with the militant group.
Amid the chaos, how should Bangladesh engage with Taliban-led Afghanistan?
What if the Taliban tries to export its extremist views to Bangladesh and other Muslim majority nations?
Many Bangladeshi Islamists have had ties with the Afghan Mujahideens, and subsequently the Taliban, for a number of decades now. In the 1980s, many of them travelled to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet occupation forces alongside the Mujahideens, and some of them lost their lives. Many of the returnees subsequently set up violent extremist organisations, such as the Harkat ul Jihad Al Islami, Bangladesh (HuJI, B), inspired by the ideologies of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
"The first thing you must consider is the fact that Afghanistan and the Taliban are not the same entity. This differentiation is essential because the Taliban is a militant organisation whose interests and ideologies do not align with the general Afghan people," said Dr Delwar Hossain, Professor of International Relations at the University of Dhaka.
Dr Delwar maintains that Afghanistan is not a priority country for Bangladesh as much as the state is important to Pakistan, India and China. He substantiated this claim by suggesting we look into the bilateral relationship between Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Total trade, investments, imports and exports are not that high between the two countries. It is rather symbolic. Even with the previous Afghan government, propped by the US, the economic relationship did not amount to one of any particular significance. Moreover, while Afghanistan has an embassy in Dhaka, Dhaka does not have an embassy in Afghanistan.
It is instead a matter of goodwill. The way the Taliban came in power, their track record and the disturbing news that we are hearing now - extremist ideologies, exclusion and poor treatment of women, undermines that goodwill.
"However, the ideologies they preach are a great threat to Bangladesh. Bangladesh government should be careful in curbing the rise of radicalism and terrorism that might be associated with the ascendance of the Taliban," Dr Delwar warned.
"That is why I will suggest a go-slow approach. Let us wait and see how the situation unfolds in Afghanistan. These are open questions and speculatory. We do not know China's plans yet. And what about the Western powers?"
According to Serajul Islam, a former career ambassador, Pakistan's attempt to invite the Taliban to SAARC now was unacceptable.
First, the Taliban have to prove their legitimacy with regards to the complaints we all have against them, their outlook of the outside world and their outlook towards women. Only when it proves to be inclusive in internal affairs and peaceful in external relations, can it be given legitimacy.
"Whatever the method they used to come into power, if the new interim government is not inclusive and does not hold moderate ideologies, they [the Taliban-led government] should not be recognised by our government," said Serajul Islam.
He also maintained that the best way to deal with the Taliban was not bilaterally but in a multilateral forum. He explained that to stop them from being atrocious and misogynistic, one cannot engage the Taliban bilaterally.
"I think SAARC can be a better option than the UN because the region understands its problems better than the outside world. If they become inclusive, inviting them to SAARC would be a good opportunity to engage with them," he added.