[...] Haji Zikraya Khan and Mehboob Ali, both members of Kandahar's provincial assembly, had spoken out repeatedly against the Taliban. Last month they paid the price, both of them killed in a bomb attack. Mr Khan's family say that as well as being victims of insurgent brutality they, like many other Kandaharis, have first-hand experience of the rapacious police. "My uncle died because he was speaking out against oppression by the Taliban and revealed how the Pakistanis are supporting the terrorists." said Zulmai Mohammed.
Mr Mohammed's sister, Amina, used to be a clerk in government service. She stopped working after receiving a warning from the Taliban to stay at home. "They do not want women to have any independence. I will know security has improved when I can go back to work. A lot of other women feel the same way. Maybe things are getting better, but we are still afraid, we know women who have been killed for refusing to stop working."
Mr Mohammed conceded that there are some signs of improvement. "The security has improved in the city but there are still Taliban around, and we believe some of the police still sell them information. Things can get bad again. I am a target of the Taliban because of my family, because of what I have said. I must stay careful." Read more