The sex scandal that ensnared Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus has prompted laughter among the Taliban.
Petraeus resigned last week to pre-empt revelations that he had an affair with his married biographer Paula Broadwell, putting an end to a glittering military career that included commanding NATO forces fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.
A stony-faced Taliban official burst into laughter at the mention of the Petraeus affair during an interview to a foreign news agency in northwest Pakistan this week.
“All Americans are the same, it's nothing new,” the official said, who did not want to be named.
According to reports, the Islamists dealt harshly with adulterers during their brutal 1996-2001 rule in Afghanistan.
The traditional moral code of the Pashtuns, the main ethnic group the Taliban draws their members from, also demands severe punishment for adulterers.
“From a Pashtun point of view, Petraeus should be shot by relatives from his mistress’s family,” the Taliban official said, adding, “From a Sharia point of view, he should be stoned to death.”
The scandal has also implicated the current NATO commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, as well as an FBI agent and a glamorous Florida socialite.
The Taliban official said he was not surprised.
"It's quite normal for Americans and Western people to behave like this -- they live in free sex societies where nobody cares about this sort of thing, so what do you expect?" he said.