Lest anyone think Afghanistan is on the glide path to a democratic transition any time soon with the Taliban, there may be some attitudinal bumps in the road.
Take a recent “apology” letter reportedly written by a senior Taliban commander in Pakistan to Malala Yousafa, the extraordinary 16-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl the group shot in the head in October in an assassination attempt.
“When you were attacked it was shocking for me,” the commander, Adnan Rashid wrote in a letter published Wednesday by Channel 4 News in Great Britain.
“I wished it would never have happened,” Rashid wrote. Well, that’s comforting.
But he went on to clarify that “the Taliban never attacked you because of going to school or you were an education lover.” He noted, a bit implausibly given the group’s attacks on schools, that the militants “are not against the education of any men or women or girl.”
Not at all. The Taliban, “believe that you were intentionally writing against them and running a smearing campaign to malign their efforts to establish Islamic system” in the Swat Valley in Pakistan “and your writings were provocative.”
Oh. Well, that explains things.