Afghan Taliban on Thursday opposed any move to link the crisis in Indian-occupied Kashmir with the ongoing Afghan peace process, urging both sides to refrain from hostilities. Remarks by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid came as Afghan peace process was mentioned in some official statements and several political leaders including PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif pointed out to Pakistan’s help in Afghan reconciliation. “Linking the issue of Kashmir with that of Afghanistan by some parties will not aid in improving the crisis at hand because the issue of Afghanistan is not related nor should Afghanistan be turned into the theater of competition between other countries,” the Taliban spokesman said in a statement. Mujahid invited attention of the Pakistani and Indian leaders to the “bitter experiences” from war and conflict in Afghanistan, and urged both countries to pursue peace and use of rational pathways to solve regional issues. “We call on both involved parties, OIC, Islamic countries, the United Nations and other influential institutions to play a constructive role in preventing insecurity in Kashmir. By using your influence, encourage both sides to prevent the spread of crisis and resolve the issue in a calm and composed manner,” he said. The Taliban spokesman expressed deep sadness over the reports about Indian government’s decision to revoke the status of Kashmir, deploy additional troops, impose a state of emergency and create difficulties and hardships for the resident Muslim population. “The Islamic Emirate urges both India and Pakistan to refrain from taking steps that could pave a way for violence and complications in the region and usurp the rights of Kashmiris,” Mujahid said. Taliban chief in Eid message urges US to focus on political solution Meanwhile, Taliban chief Maulvi Haibatullah has used his Eid message to urge the Americans to focus on finding a peaceful pathway forward as their numerous military strategies have failed over the past eighteen years. Regarding the negotiation process currently underway in Qatar, he said Taliban are engaged in peace talks with utmost seriousness and worthwhile steps have been taken by the political office. “The process is administered by the political deputy leader (Mullah Baradar) and a strong negotiation team is appointed hence you must also pursue this process with sincerity so that effective steps are taken towards a resolution and the eighteen-year tragedy brought to an end,” he said. The Taliban leader said that increasing bombings by the US forces during the negotiation process, “attacks on civilian areas and the contradictory statements by the American military and political officials has generated a cloud of uncertainty about this process and raised doubts about their intentions.” Haibatullah said since bilateral trust is the foundation of a successful negotiations process therefore it is imperative that such negative actions are ceased. The presidential palace in Kabul has rejected the Taliban statement and a spokesman said Afghans do not need to listen to Taliban statements. Presidential spokesman Siddique Siddique said Taliban cannot mislead Afghans and that Afghans want Taliban should stop war. He said Taliban daily harm civilians and their messages contain of threats, war and terror. Afghan chief executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah in his reaction said the Taliban statement trying to put elections at cross-purpose with peace negotiations betrays their true intention. “We will not be fooled by their wretched attempt of dangling the promise of peace negotiations to sabotage continuity of processes for political legitimacy,” he said in a series of tweets. He said Taliban have failed miserably to cancel the conclusion of Kabul’s Strategic Partnership Agreement & Bilateral Security Agreement with United States signed by the National Unity Government in 2014. During the meeting, the sides discussed the issues related to the promotion of the peaceful political process in Afghanistan in order to establish sustainable and long-term peace in the country. In another development Taliban political office head Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar met Uzbek officials in Tashkent on Thursday supported holding the next round of intra-Afghan dialogue in Samarkand, the Uzbek foreign ministry said. The Uzbekistan Foreign Ministry said Mullah Baradar expressed sincere gratitude to the leadership of Uzbekistan for their constant attention to Afghanistan and emphasized that thanks to the efforts of Uzbekistan, the Afghan problem has become again in the center of the world community’s attention. During the negotiations, the right of the Afghan people to decide their own destiny and build their future was once again emphasized, said a statement, received here late Thursday.