DOHA - Despite a row over the Taliban’s office in Qatar, talks on their future role in Afghanistan are eventually likely to resume in what is expected to be a difficult and unpredictable peace process, diplomatic sources said on Tuesday.

They were responding to reports that the Taliban had closed their office in Doha after President Karzai objected to their raising a flag and giving it a nameplate that suggested they wanted to set up a government-in-exile. “Because of the arguments around the office, it hasn’t really been used, but people are still willing to find a way forward,” said one western diplomat.

Another diplomat said it was reasonable to assume that those involved in the talks process were still keen to make progress despite the row over the office. “It has never been used. That’s not to say people don’t talk,” the western diplomat added.

Earlier, the Taliban have closed their office in Qatar at least temporarily to protest the removal of a sign they had put up identifying the movement as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, a diplomat and Taliban official said. Officials, familiar with the peace talks in the Qatari capital of Doha said the offices have been temporarily closed. “They (Taliban) do not go out of their homes in Doha and have not gone to the office since the removal of the flag and the plaque,” the Taliban official said in a telephone interview.

He said the Taliban blamed Karzai and the United States for the breakdown in talks. A diplomat in the region who is familiar with the talks said: “The (Taliban) Political Commission has stopped all international political meetings and is not using the office.”

Meanwhile, TTP sacked their spokesman on Tuesday for making remarks that angered their Afghan allies.

The TTP announced the dismissal of Ehsanullah Ehsan - an outspoken and prominent figure close to TTP’s top brass - in a pamphlet distributed by militants in North Waziristan region. “He has made comments that have raised the danger of divisions between the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban,” the pamphlet said.

One TTP commander told Reuters that the Afghan Taliban were incensed when Ehsan told a local newspaper that US-Taliban peace talks in Doha would have no effect on the TTP, suggesting that the two movements were ‘totally different’.