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A nation must think before it acts.
Clean-shaven and dressed in a Western-style suit, the stranger seated on Rasoul’s carpet asked to marry his host’s daughter, the wife he’d chosen for himself. Rasoul had never seen the caller before—a rarity in his tight-knit neighborhood near the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad—so he stalled for time to ask around. Bullying and beatings followed, and a colleague soon confirmed what Rasoul had deduced: the beardless man was a Taliban fighter in disguise. “I love my daughter more than myself,” Rasoul tells me, explaining why he chose to flee Afghanistan. Two years later, he lives in a cramped flat in New Delhi’s “Little Kabul” neighborhood with his daughter, who works at a local dentist’s office, and wife. The aging man points to where the insurgents broke his bones. He struggles to stand when I depart.