It's happening again...will it end the same way this time too? Nearly 2 years ago, Abdul Rahman was sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity. While there was intense international pressure on President Karzai to overturn the verdict, he was in no legal position to do so (and the arm-twisters were fully aware of this). Moreover, the people of Afghanistan and powerful clerics from all parts of the country were overwhelmingly in favor of a death penalty. Eventually - surprise, surprise - the verdict was overturned on a technicality of mental incompetence and Rahman was released and granted asylum in Italy. Ironically, it was Rahman's refusal to repent that lead to questioning his mental fitness! The Afghanistan Constitution requires adherence to Islamic law and simultaneously respects international human rights requirements as spelled out by the UN. And as far as the Afghan judicial system is concerned, it appears that in a conflict between the two requirements, the former wins out. This upsets the international community and puts the powerful but vastly outnumbered moderates in a very tough spot. Round two involves a different twist - freedom of press! In the context of this severely imbalanced dichotomy, do you see the role of Karzai as a positive influence, a negative influence or mostly as ineffectual in bringing about socio-political reform in Afghanistan?