DOHA, Qatar — Chief U.S. negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad repeated assurances today he received from the Taliban that they are "totally going to lay down their weapons and become peace loving, democratic civilians as soon as American forces leave."
American representatives have been engaged in talks with Taliban leaders in hope of a diplomatic resolution to the 17-year conflict that has rocked Afghanistan.
“I asked them point blank if they were willing to lay down their arms the moment U.S. troops left the country,” Khalilzad said. ”And they all looked at each other for a second and then began nodding.”
“I don’t understand why anyone thinks we’d do otherwise,” a Taliban delegate said. “Our whole mission this entire time has been to rid our great country of foreign soldiers. All those attacks on civilians and Afghan soldiers was to throw you off the scent, and all that militant Islam is just motivation for boots.”
While no details of the peace framework have been released, multiple sources said it involves top Taliban commanders pinky swearing with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to cease fighting once the last U.S. troops leave.
“Of course I am going to put down my weapon as soon as I can,” another delegate said. “I’ve been fighting in these mountains, living off of bits of rice and goat since I was twelve years old. I’ve had enough. Partial victory is fine. I want to open a falafel shop or maybe run for office like my commander.”
Taliban leaders expressed hope that they would soon be able to travel their country without fear of violence.
“I’m looking forward to visiting Kabul,” Lajbar Mohammed, a high-ranking Taliban delegate said. “I want to see the place where we hung [former Afghan dictator] Dr. Najib’s corpse after we gave him a pardon then tortured and murdered him back in 1996.”
A key piece to the framework is assurance the Taliban will not harbor Islamic terrorists such as Al Qaeda — a point the Taliban delegation said was moot.
“That was the nineties man," Mohammed said. "Everyone did crazy stuff back then.”
Meanwhile at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, aircrews were seen putting grip on the skids of multiple helicopters.