FARAH, Afghanistan — When the problems riddling Afghan society are listed — violence, insecurity, corruption, religious fundamentalism — one dominating factor is usually left out: the influence of customary law.

In Afghanistan, there are three principal legal references: constitutional law, the Quran and the system of customary law known as Farhang, the most dominant and strictest version of what is called Pashtunwali (the way of the Pashtuns).

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