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Taliban abandon Doha office, spurn truce calls

Taliban abandon Doha office, spurn truce calls

Jul 09, 2013 - 17:34

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): In a setback to the reconciliation drive, the Talibaninfo-icon on Tuesday abandoned their political office in Qatar to protest the removal of their flag and plaque from the building.

"They do not go out of their homes in Doha and have not gone to the office since the removal of the flag and the plaque," the Associated Press quoted one Taliban official as saying.

A diplomat confirmed the bureau had been temporarily shut, telling the American news agency the Taliban’s Political Commission had stopped all international political meetings and was not using the office.

Soon after the opening of the Taliban’s office, President Karzai denounced the hoisting of the movement’s flag and the use of the controversial plaque -- the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistaninfo-icon -- at the bureau.

Last month, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned the Taliban's office could be closed if efforts at bringing them to the negotiating with the Afghan government failed.

The movement spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, ignored emails and phone calls from Pajhwok Afghan News.

Another Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, snubbed calls for a ceasefire in the holy month of Ramadaninfo-icon. He said the movement’s men, would continue their operations as usual. 

Late on Monday night, President Karzai called for the insurgents to embark on the road to peace and renounce war in deference to the holy month.

He said the long-suffering and deeply religious nation continued to be haunted by an "unholy war", depriving children of educationinfo-icon and damaging the country's infrastructure.

"With the advent of this month, I once again call on the Taliban, particularly those who call themselves sons of soil, to begin a journey of peace and compassion. I want them to halt fighting and stop being a source of torment for the nation," he added.

PAN Monitor/mud



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