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Rejoicing over Qatar's hosting of the FIFA World Cup 2022, Afghan Taliban leaders have congratulated the Qatari leadership and people of Qatar for their hosting of the event. However, Hizbut Tahrir Afghanistan, an Islamist organization, criticized the soccer tournament as a historic waste.
Dr. Mohammad Naeem Wardak, spokesman of the Doha, Qatar-based Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA, i.e., the Afghan Taliban) in Qatar, defined the hosting of FIFA World Cup 2022 as a "great historical achievement" for Qatar. Tweeting in Arabic, Naeem Wardak stated: "Great historical achievement. Hosting the 2022 World Cup [by Qatar]. We congratulate all Muslims, especially Qatar, the Emir, the government, and the people, for this great event. Success and more progress and prosperity to Qatar and for all the Muslim countries and its people."
Suhail Shaheen, the head of the Political Office in Qatar who has been named by the Afghan Taliban to be Afghanistan's permanent representative at the United Nations if their government is recognized, also congratulated the Qatari leadership on hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022, saying that 1.5 million visitors from around the world will explore the rich culture of Qatar. "Qatar is welcoming 1.5 million visitors from different parts of the world to enjoy the FIFA World Cup 2022 and explore its rich culture. It will be the first world cup hosted in the Middle East and second in the whole Asia. I congratulate the leadership of the state of Qatar for their tremendous efforts to make this dream a reality," Shaheen wrote.
Anas Haqqani, a key member of the Islamic Emirate's Haqqani Network, which was responsible for terror attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and other U.S. and NATO targets in Afghanistan after 9/11, congratulated Saudi Arabia on its victory against Argentina, calling it a "historic" win. Anas Haqqani, who is the brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is the chief of Haqqani Network and the Afghan Taliban's interior minister, said: "Argentina does not have bad soccer history. It won two world cups and has players like Maradona and Messi. It is a historic victory for the Saudi national soccer team to defeat such a team. Congratulations to them." Anas Haqqani's tweet included a picture showing the Saudi soccer team members prostrating to thank Allah the almighty for blessing them with a victory over Argentina.
Abdul Haq Hammad, another Afghan Taliban leader, said in a tweet that "enemy organizations" are regretting allowing Qatar to host the FIFA World Cup 2022 because they do not want an Islamic country to be the center of international activities.
"The Qatari leaders used the World Cup with great wisdom and produced it in the interest of Islam. All the enemy organizations are upset and regret allowing Qatar to host the cup. They do not want an Islamic country to become the center of international activities. Qatar, however, has played a good role so far. May Allah grant it more success," Hammad said in Pashtu-language tweet.
A screenshot of the tweet by Abdul Haq Hammad
However, Hizb-ut-Tahrir Afghanistan criticized the Qatari government for spending more than $200 billion on the preparation for the FIFA World Cup and termed it "a historic shame." "Hosting the World Cup by Qatar is a historic shame from all aspects. These arrangements cost more than $200 billion. This level of [expenditure] is enough to eliminate poverty from the world permanently," the Hizbut Tahrir Afghanistan declared in Pashtu tweet.