Taliban Dismisses Demand to Disarm, Says US Should Halt Violence

Taliban spokesman says time for US to 'accept the current realities'

Calls by the Afghan government for the peace process to begin with a ceasefire were immediately followed by US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad demanding that the Taliban prove that they want peace by disarming entirely.

This led to a quick rebuke from the Taliban’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, who said not only is the Taliban not going to unilaterally disarm, but that Khalilzad should be driving home the message to the US to halt its own violence.

Noting that the US keeps repeating the same failed strategies while expecting different outcomes, Mujahid said the it is time for the US to simply “accept the current realities.” The US did not respond, but that’s probably no more likely than Taliban disarming.

The US and the Taliban have been in ongoing peace talks for months, and have a framework for a deal wherein the US would withdraw and the Taliban would agree to keep al-Qaeda and ISIS out of the country. Fleshing out this deal may take time, and Afghanistan’s Ghani government continues to be an obstacle, both demanding a central role in any deal, and failing to have any of its thousands of delegates show up at the most recent talks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.