PAN, May 7, 2010
Thousands of acres of land illegal grabbed in north
He said they complained to the government again and again but not step was taken to address their problems
By Zabihullah Ihsas
A beautiful view of the Samangan province where thousands of acres of land have been illegally grabbed. (Photo: Luke Powell)
Powerful men had forcefully captured thousands of acres of land in northern provinces, locals and officials said.
The land had been seized in Balkh, Samangan, Sar-i-Pul and Jawzjan provinces, said members of a delegation reviewing the situation of the captured land in the zone.
The nomadic Kuchis and livestock owners also complained that the government had assigned them some chunks of green land where they could graze their herds, but the same was forcefully captured by some powerful people who do not allow them to take their herds there.
Allauddin, a nomad from Sadmesh of Chamtal district of Balkh province, said the land was captured by the powerful individuals over the past three years. Without naming any one, he said they were not allowing them to graze their herds there.
Gulbaz, another resident of Sholgar district of the same province, said he had a herd of nearly 100 sheep but could not find a place for their grazing. He said they were going to far-off areas to find grazing grounds for their cattle.
Officials in the Balkh province also admit that the powerful men had captured the grazing fields. Sayed Muhammad Ariq, an official responsible for Kuchis affairs, told Pajhwok Afghan News that around 20,000 Kuchi families were living in the province. He said according to an estimate, the total number of their cattle is more than 10 million.
He said most of the Kuchis were living in Sholgar, Chamtal, Khlam, Daulatabad, Charbolak, Zara and Kashandi districts of Balkh province. He said their grazing grounds were being grabbed by some people over the past few years.
In this connection, the government had formed a delegation to review the situation and take steps to get back the land. A member of the delegation Zulfiqar Stanikzai said hundreds of acres of land had been captured in the four provinces.
He said the Balkh province had vast grazing fields but a major part of the same was captured by the powerful men. He said in some areas, houses of nomadic Kuchis had also been captured.
Besides Balkh, hundreds of acres of land had also been grabbed in Samangan.
Dawa Khan, resident of Hazrat Sultan district of the province said thousands acres of land was captured in the area over the past few years. He said they complained to the government again and again but not step was taken to address their problems. Another Kuchi Saida Gul also came out with similar complaints.
Zulfiqar says 60 per cent of the grazing fields in that province were seized by the powerful men. Same is the situation in the other two provinces, he added.
He said commissions had been formed to review the situation and adopt corrective measures. He assured that the land would be retaken and given to its real owners.
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