A former reporter in Afghanistan writes:

Yes, Mullah Zaeef is a moderate in Taliban world. In the late 1990s he tried to get the Taliban to allow the Internet into the country. And two years ago he bought an iPhone. I met with him a dozen times in Kabul from 2006-2009 and he was always a friendly, humane man.

Then there's this: We invited him over to our house for lunch once. At the table was Zaeef, three men and one women. I pulled out a camera to take a picture, and Zaeef whispered something to our Afghan interpreter, his way of being polite: He couldn't have his picture taken -- there was a woman at the table.

That's the face of modernism in the Afghan south.

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