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New York Times Takes Heat After Publishing Op-Ed Written by Deputy Leader of the Taliban

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The New York Times was heavily criticized after it published an op-ed written by Sirajuddin Haqqani — the deputy leader of the Taliban.

In the piece titled “What We, the Taliban, Want,” Haqqani discusses a proposed peace deal between the United States and the Taliban.

However, the Times was blasted by reporters — including its senior Afghanistan correspondent — and politicians for running an op-ed from a wanted terrorist, and not providing more information about Haqqani.

“The piece by Siraj Haqqani in [New York Times opinion] – 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 most ruthless attacks of this war with many civilian lives lost.”

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In a statement, the Times defended the decision to run the op-ed, “We know firsthand how dangerous and destructive the Taliban is,” Eileen Murphy, senior vice president of communications wrote.

“But, our mission at Times Opinion is to tackle big ideas from a range of newsworthy viewpoints. We’ve actively solicited voices from all sides of the Afghanistan conflict, the government, the Taliban and from citizens,” the statement continued.

Additionally, Murphy said that Haqqani’s perspective is “relevant at this particular moment” because he is involved in peace negotiations. The Taliban is expected to sign a peace deal on February 29.

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