Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that a negotiated political solution is the only way forward for Afghanistan.

He was talking to media along with Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavusoglu in Istanbul after a Pakistan-Afghanistan-Turkey trilateral meeting on Afghanistan on Friday.

“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,” Qureshi added.

The foreign minister said as there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict, Pakistan had urged and would continue to pursue the Afghans to sit together and find a way forward.

“We as brothers can only facilitate,” he continued.

He said a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in the interest of Pakistan, which had suffered the most due to war than any other country in the world.

The foreign minister said during the trilateral meeting, they discussed various issues relating to Afghanistan, including economic, security, migration, refugees, etc.

“Illegal migration is an issue, which needs to be tackled,” he said, adding he discussed the issue during his visit to Tehran.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara’s support for the Afghan peace process and efforts to organise the conference in Istanbul would continue.

“As the co-organisers, we are continuing talks on this with all sides,” he added.

Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar joined the meeting via video link for health reasons, Cavusoglu said.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also held a bilateral meeting with Atmar during which they discussed the latest developments in the Afghan peace process and strengthening of bilateral relations, the Foreign Office said.

During the trilateral meeting, the foreign ministers discussed the latest developments in the Afghan peace process and exchanged views on achieving the shared objectives of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process.

Earlier, in a joint statement issued after talks, the three ministers underlined “the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire” to end the violence and “provide a conducive atmosphere” for peace talks.

A US-backed Afghan peace conference to be hosted in Istanbul by Turkey, Qatar and the United Nations on Saturday was postponed as the Taliban showed reluctance to attend.

Turkey has said the talks will be held after Ramzan but no new date has been set.

The foreign ministers of Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan discussed the planned conference, aimed at fast-tracking an agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban following Washington’s announcement that foreign troops will leave Afghanistan by September 11.

The ministers “called on all parties, in particular the Taliban, to reaffirm their commitment for achieving an inclusive negotiated settlement leading to lasting peace in Afghanistan desired by the Afghan people, the region and the international community”, according to the joint statement.

The Taliban had earlier refused to attend any summits until all foreign forces were pulled out of Afghanistan. The Taliban and the United States last year agreed that all foreign forces would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by May 1, a date that was pushed back last week by US President Joe Biden.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when they were ousted by US-led forces. Since then, they have waged a long-running insurgency and still control wide swathes of territory.


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