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.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • mike merlo says:

    The Russians & Israeli’s saw fit to assassinate “enemies of the state” in Dubai. Such pleasantries targeting any & all Taliban, their ‘supporters,’ affiliates, associates, etc., where ever they may be would be most welcome.
    The ongoing ‘festivities’ on the part of The Taliban & their hosts/sponsors Qatar hopefully is being ‘microscopically’ monitored & recorded. However based on the past performances of the ‘Fumblelina’s’ in both the US Intel Community & its ‘Foreign Services’ those tasked to ‘scout’ these ‘social miscreants’ are most likely busy with butterfly nets & serving as pedicurists & ‘foot stools’ to the various Monarchies composing the GCC.

  • My2Cents says:

    Who, besides the US State Department and the Obama White House, didn’t see this coming?
    Or worse, maybe they did.

  • irebukeu says:

    “while the West is mistakenly praying the Taliban are seeking to use the office to conduct meaningful negotiations.”
    I completely agree with the last paragraph from the above article. I find it very frustrating when I hear it said so often in the media that the ‘Taliban’ are in, or about to be in, peace negotiations in Qatar. This doesn’t harmonize with their statements at all.
    If we listen to what the Taliban say, they seem very clear what they are interested in talking about. Prisoner swap 5 for 1 and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”
    Last year when these talks (4 to 1 back then?) almost happened or did happen, the Taliban said their interest in talking was about the prisoner exchange and they called them off because the Americans they said, wanted to cloud the issue with other subjects
    My only questions are; Does this office in Qatar have a gift shop and if so does it sell Chachkies?

  • reason1984 says:

    The Taliban are merely taking a page from Yasir Arafat’s playbook. Arafat played the West like a fiddle, as will the Taliban. On the other hand, it may be advantageous to have the Taliban leadership under one roof.


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