News - Afghanistan
"Sometimes they introduce a vegetable seller as a high ranking official of Islamic Emirate [Taliban name for Afghanistan] and try to solve the Afghan issue with him and sometimes an anonymous ‘Mawlawi' as its important member and then publish such nonsense," it said.
Mawlawi's comments to Semple were published widely by multiple media outlets because of their divergence from the militant group's typical statements.
The admission of Mawlawi that he felt the Taliban would not recapture Afghanistan was highly sensitive.
He said: "It would take some kind of divine intervention for the Taliban to win this war. The Taliban capturing Kabul is a very distant prospect. Any Taliban leader expecting to be able to capture Kabul is making a grave mistake. Nevertheless, the leadership also knows that it cannot afford to acknowledge this weakness. To do so would undermine the morale of Taliban personnel."
The Taliban statement scoffed that this could be someone in their ranks because he "basically states that he doesn't believe in the divine help of Allah and that the Mujahideen surely cannot defeat the enemy... We have repeatedly demonstrated to our enemies for the past decade that the Mujahideen can do what could have never been imagined."
It called on the media to not accept any voice as that of the Taliban without the verification of the group's known spokespersons.