by Speen Gul Watanyar (Letters To The Editor, Crescent International Vol. 48, No. 4, Ramadan, 1440)
Six rounds of talks have been held between the Taliban and US representatives in Doha, Qatar. Based on Western media reports, most people are under the impression that the talks are aimed at securing a safe withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. The other points are the Taliban’s promise not to allow the country to be used for terrorist attacks anywhere and, the possibility of US forces retaining some presence in secure military bases. Keeping American puppets in some power configuration in Kabul is also the US aim.
We can reveal, quoting reliable Taliban sources, that the actual negotiations are about things entirely different. First, the American side has been insisting that US troops be allowed to leave with their helmets. The Taliban have agreed; Afghans wear turbans, not helmets. The second American request conveyed by a coy Zalmay Khalilzad was that US troops be allowed to leave in their diapers. The Taliban immediately agreed to this as well, to the loud cheers of US negotiators. You see, Afghans do not use diapers, not even on babies!
The real sticking point has been boots. The Americans want their troops to leave with their boots on; the Taliban insist these must be left behind. They are not being cruel, only practical. Most Afghans do not have shoes. Sturdy American military boots will be very useful in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan.
This is the real inside story of US-Taliban negotiations. Let no one deceive you with fake news.
Speen Gul Watanyar
Berkeley, CA, US