The Taliban political office in Qatar concentrates more on spreading terrorist activities in Afghanistan than having impact on the process of Afghan peace talks with the group, a government source told Ariana News Wednesday.
“The Taliban Qatar office is ineffective to the pave the way for peace talks and its negative role is more prominent, therefore, it has concentrated more on spreading terror activities [in Afghanistan],” the source said.
The Taliban opened their Doha office in 2013, following the support of the U.S., Afghan and Qatari governments. The political leaders hoped the move would set the stage for peace negotiation between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
However, recently reports emerged that U.S. President Donald Trump is pushing the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to agree on closure of the Taliban office which has been a channel for dialogue for more than six years.
Qatar said the office has operated with U.S. and Afghan consent. “As with the opening of the office, any decision on the future of it rests with both the Government of the United States and the Government of Afghanistan,” said Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed Al-Thani, director of the Qatari government’s communications office, cited by Wall Street Journal.
“No matter the decision, Qatar will remain America’s strongest ally in the region, working to defeat terrorism and resolve global conflicts,” he said.
Some Afghan political analysts believe if the Taliban’s Qatar office was closed, the group will lose its “independency” status.
“The closure Qatar office will harm the dialogue [process] and will encourage the Taliban to fight further,” said Jawid Kohistani. “They will lose independency and will rely upon Pakistan again.”
It comes as Trump unveiled a new strategy for Afghanistan that will surge U.S. troops’ presence and to repel Taliban advances across the country.
By Shakib Mahmud and Rafi Sediqi