Taliban insist on using 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,' flying flag at Qatar 'political office'
The spokesman for the Taliban's "political office" in Doha, Qatar is denying a report at The Associated Press which claimed he said the group would remove the Taliban flag and the sign proclaiming the "political office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan." The statement, which was published on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban's official website, is reproduced below in full.
Our stance concerning the flag and name of Islamic Emirate remains unchanged Muhammad Sohail Shaheen
That some news outlets sourcing the Associated Press and attributing a quote to me which states that the presence of foreigners can also be a part of the agenda then this allegation is completely false. I have not been asked this question and neither have I answered as such. Similarly, the said news agency and some other outlets have also written that the Islamic Emirate has shown consent with the removal of the name and flag of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from its political office then this is also a baseless and fabricated allegation. I must state that we have not even conducted an interview with anyone in the past few days.
After this baseless report, I contacted the Associated Press which responded by saying that you have not said such a thing however we assumed as such. Therefore it is hoped the Associated Press corrects its report and desists from attributing quotes on bases of assumption while I here also reject this report. Journalists must adhere to the ethics of Journalism and not attribute fabricated quotes to people.
Muhammad Sohail Shaheen
Member of political office of Islamic Emirate
As noted just yesterday here at Threat Matrix, the Taliban are determined to use the Qatar office to advance their political goals and grant the group legitimacy in the international community. The political office is being used by the Taliban as a de facto embassy, while the West is mistakenly praying the Taliban are seeking to use the office to conduct meaningful negotiations.