Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan meets with US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on July 22, 2019 [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

On February 20, days before the signing of a landmark deal between the US and the Taliban in Qatar’s capital, Doha, American “paper of record” The New York Times published an opinion editorial by Haqqani Network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani. Haqqani, who is also the deputy leader of the Taliban,  was labelled a “specially designated global terrorist” by the US in 2008. The State Department is still offering a reward of up to $5m for information directly leading to his arrest.

The timing of the piece was not a coincidence – it appeared as the US was readying a partial truce with the Taliban that could set in motion a potential end

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