parliament, and she's never been naive about the danger she and other prominent Afghan women face. Still, her initial encounter with her kidnappers was so swift and shocking it's still something of a blur today.
Kakar, her four children, her bodyguard and her driver were traveling from southern Kandahar province to Kabul, the Afghan capital, when a handful of armed militants on motorbikes appeared ahead of them on the outskirts of Ghazni city. The gunmen made the driver turn off the highway onto a bumpy, dirt road that led to a small village.
The militants put the group in the home of an Afghan Taliban family, separating the men from the women and saying little. Kakar, though, quickly began pleading with the captors to free her three daughters and son, ages 2 to 20.
She tried to calm her children but did not downplay what was happening. ''I told them, `This is the situation in this country. I will try to make sure you are safe,''' she said.
The Taliban fighters let her call her family. Within a couple of days her children were released to her mother and brother. Kakar, though, was shifted from place to place and kept separate from her driver and bodyguard.
Just days before the kidnapping, a fellow female legislator was wounded in an ambush by suspected Taliban gunmen not far from where Kakar was seized. Sen. Rouh Gul Khairzad's young daughter was killed, as was a bodyguard, while other family members also were wounded.
The militants who kidnapped Kakar had a different goal: They wanted the government to release some prisoners, and Kakar was their leverage.
In recounting her ordeal, Kakar wavered from calm to anger to wariness, and wouldn't always delve into details. At times she looked faint, but then she'd break into a sudden grin. When asked what she did all day in the various homes in which she was held captive, she smirked and said, ''Nothing!''
She had only a vague idea of what was happening between her captors and authorities seeking to free her.
Kakar had a couple of female minders, whom