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An Inviting Snare
A few months ago, I narrowly escaped the Taliban’s wrath. I was then the only English-speaking journalist inside Afghanistan and had been "invited" by the Taliban to report on the drought which was killing thousands of Afghans. Half way through my assignment, the Taliban decided they wanted to try and impose a dress code on the country’s Sikhs and Hindus. In Kandahar—the student-militia’s spiritual home—dozens of petrified Hindus came to me with stories of their properties being looted, temples being converted into police stations and pressure on them to convert to Islam. When the Taliban discovered that we had been talking to Hindus, armed guards threatened we would never leave Afghanistan if we did not hand over our tapes. But to protect my sources we refused to part with them. Later, after hours of protracted negotiations with our headquarters in Atlanta, the Taliban allowed us to leave.