Tears of an Afghan Warlord by Pascale Bourgaux
Taliban for many years. In the opening scenes in 2002 Hasan, who retired from fighting, seems to live a life of hope. He enjoys the admiration of the local people and lives in relative wealth. But in 2008 uncertainty arrives. Hasan has willingly given over his weapons to the central government under the pledge of peace, but a weak local police force and broken promises have led to a state of anxiety Ã¢Â€Â“ and problems the Taliban is trying to fix. When Bourgaux returns in 2010 the situation is one of further decline, and as she tells the Frontline audience, is more complex than good versus evil: Hasan might have democratic concepts in him but of course he is running a feudal system, having all the money from taxes and distributing it to things he thinks are important. He is applying the power as a good man. Maybe the choice is not Taliban or democracy as we know it. But when the Taliban have the power it is a dictatorship. Bourgaux admits the story she tells in just one hour has taken her 10 years to understand, but the Frontline audience were eager to share her views. And some blame her for the continuing struggle in Dasht-e Qaleh.