Interim govt: Report about Taliban scepticism is wrong

Al Jazeera has reported the Taliban have expressed scepticism about the US proposal for an interim government in Afghanistan.

But Dr. Mohammad Naeem, spokesman for the rebel group’s Qatar office, said the US participatory government idea was still under their consideration.

Claim: Al Jazeera reported the Taliban expressed scepticism over the renewed US push for the Afghan peace process

According to the Al Jazeera report, the Taliban spokesman expressed scepticism over a proposal by the United States for an interim government in Afghanistan, saying transitional governments have proven ineffective and that the group’s vision for the country revolved around a strong central administration capable of enforcing their definition of an Islamic system of governance.

Washington had earlier in March proposed replacing the current government with an interim administration until a new constitution is agreed and elections are held, while a joint commission monitors a ceasefire.

But Dr. Naeem told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview on Sunday that the group did not believe an interim government could deal with the country’s challenges.

“One need only look at our country’s past experiences over the last 40 years and the wars it has witnessed. Transitional governments were formed after the American occupation, some of them transitional, others participatory, but none of them have solved the country’s problems,” Naeem said.

“We want an Islamic system that is strong and independent in order to solve the country’s problems and these foundational [questions] must be taken into consideration,” he added.

Naeem reaffirmed the need for foreign troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, as stated in a landmark agreement reached with the US in Doha last year.

Fact check:

After his comments in the A Jazeera report, Dr. Naeem took to Twitter and wrote: “The draft we received a few days ago is still under consideration. We will clarify our position after consideration. In some media outlets, which quoted me other than this, is not true.”

Naeem rejected what was attributed to him in Al Jazeera and other media outlets about the interim government idea.

Outcome: In a tweet, the Taliban Qatar Office spokesperson rejected the report in which he was quoted as voicing cynicism about an interim government.

Verdict: Aljazeera report on Taliban view of interim government is wrong.