Thursday, February 12, 2004

the smack of firm liberalism
Well, it looks like an IWPR fest today. But this shouldn't go unremarked.

Amid fears over the low numbers of women registering to vote in Afghanistan, a tribal council in the conservative province of Paktia has provided a fearsome incentive.

Families that do not enroll women will have to forfeit the equivalent of 2,000 US dollars and a bull. In addition, the family's houses will be burned down, said Haji Kala Khan Ahmadzai, the tribal leader of the Ahmad Abad district of Paktia.

I suppose that sometimes you just have to act. I also get the impression that this is exactly how the Afghan communists would have behaved if they had been allowed to remain in control of the country - except that it would have happened twenty years ago and New York would still have a World Trade Centre.