KABUL -- When the Taliban took over Kabul in August, Ismat, a shopkeeper, stocked up with piles of burqas. For older Afghans, the sight of numerous checkpoints and fighters armed with newly acquired American weapons revived memories of women rushing to buy the all-enveloping garment during the previous Taliban regime from 1996 to 2001.
But demand this time was short-lived. Afghanistan's new regime has imposed a stricter dress code on both women and men, with signs in cafes and restaurants reminding women that they must wear a hijab covering their hair and neck, and men that they must grow their beards long. But the burqa, though seen in villages, is far from prevalent in the capital.