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NYT correspondent turns on paper over its decision to publish Taliban leader’s op-ed
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NYT correspondent turns on paper over its decision to publish Taliban leader’s op-ed

Was it a wise choice?

New York Times correspondent Mujib Mashal blasted the newspaper for running an op-ed from Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is wanted by the U.S. government.

What are the details?

The editorial, titled, "What We, the Taliban, Want," points to a possible future peace deal between the terrorist organization and the United States.

"We are about to sign an agreement with the United States, and we are fully committed to carrying out its every single provision, in letter and spirit," Haqqani wrote. "We did not choose our war with the foreign coalition led by the United States. We were forced to defend ourselves."

Haqqani also pointed out that "the killing and the maiming must stop."

"The withdrawal of foreign forces has been our first and foremost demand," he said.

Mujib Mashal, who is the outlet's senior correspondent based on Afghanistan, blasted the Times' decision to run the article.

He wrote, "The piece by Siraj Haqqani in @nytopinion – which's independent of our news operations & judgment — omits the most fundamental fact: that Siraj is no Taliban peace-maker as he paints himself, that he's behind some of the most ruthless attacks of this war with many civilian lives lost."

He later issued a follow-up tweet, calling for NYT readers to speak out against the op-ed.

Mashal added, "I know people have strong views on this. Sorry, I can't answer. But, as the bottom of the piece says, our Opinion editors appreciate hearing from, and are 'committed to publishing a diversity of letters.' So feel free to write them: letters@nytimes.com."

What else?

According to NBC News, the U.S. government is poised to sign two-step peace deal with Afghan Taliban in which the Taliban will "reduce violence" against one another in the region for a period of seven days. Following that period, a potential longer-term deal would reduce the presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, ideally prompting peace talks between insurgents and the Afghanistan government.

Under the deal, the Taliban would also agree to sever ties with radical terrorist groups.

You can read more about the landmark agreement — which has been in development for the last three years — here.

According to the FBI, Sirajuddin Haqqani is wanted for questioning in connection with the January 2008 attack on a Kabul, Afghanistan, hotel. The attack took the lives of at least six people. One of those people was an American citizen.

"He is believed to have coordinated and participated in cross-border attacks against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan," the FBI poster added. "Haqqani also allegedly was involved in the planning of the assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008."

(H/T: Mediaite)

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