shah-mahmood-qureshiTurkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan called on the Afghan Taliban on Friday to reaffirm their commitment to achieving a negotiated settlement for lasting peace in the war-torn country, the foreign ministers of the three countries said in a joint statement issued after talks in Istanbul. A US-backed Afghan peace conference in Istanbul hosted by Turkey, Qatar and the United Nations scheduled for Saturday was postponed due to the Taliban’s non-participation. No new date has been set for those talks, but Ankara has said they would take place after the holy month of Ramazan. After talks in Istanbul, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Afghan Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar, and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shan Mahmood Qureshi deplored the continuing high level of violence in Afghanistan, and emphasized the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire to end the violence and provide a conducive atmosphere for the peace talks. Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, describing Pakistan-Afghanistan-Turkey trilateral meeting as useful, said a negotiated political solution of the Afghan issue was the only way forward. “It is a unique opportunity for Afghans to show farsightedness. If they suffer, everybody will suffer. It is important that Afghans sit together and find a way forward,” he said while addressing a joint press conference along with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavusoglu. The foreign minister said as there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict, Pakistan has urged and will continue to urge all the Afghan parties to sit together and find a way forward. “We as brothers can only facilitate,” he remarked. He said that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan, which has suffered the most due to war in Afghanistan than any other country in the world. he said that during the trilateral meeting, they discussed various issues relating to Afghanistan including economic, security, migration and refugees. “Illegal migration is an issue which needs to be tackled,” he said, adding that he also discussed this issue during his visit to Tehran. During the trilateral meeting, the three foreign ministers discussed the latest developments in Afghan peace process, exchanged views on achieving the shared objectives of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process. Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted Pakistan’s valuable efforts towards this end. Foreign Minister Qureshi categorically rejected the speculations of any secret talks between Pakistan and India through back-door channels or third party involvement, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “We are not having any talks [with India] at the moment. UAE is not facilitating any talks,” Qureshi told TRT, a Turkish Television Network. The foreign minister said that UAE has good relations with both Pakistan and India, the two South Asian nuclear states, but there are no such talks. He, however, added that Pakistan never shied away from talks but it was India which had been shying away from the talks. The foreign minister referred to the statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan that if Indian would take one step forward, Pakistan would take two. He said Pakistan was willing for talks but Indian will have to create a conducive environment vitiated by its unilateral August 5, 2019 action in the Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), which deprived the Kashmiris of their fundamental rights. “How talks can be held in such an environment?” the foreign minister questioned, adding that even some secular segments in India are saying that the policy of Indian government for Kashmir has failed to achieve the objectives.