Balkhab district, Sar-e-Pul, Afghanistan

Taliban seize lands from locals in Sar-e-Pul to give to supporters

The Taliban continued to evict farmers from their homes and lands in Afghanistan’s northern province of Sar-e-Pul and replaced them with newly arrived Pashtun families from other provinces. The group’s provincial governor, Abdul Rahman Aka, responsible for implementing the policy, have warned the locals that “we will cut the hands off of anyone who attempted to reclaim their lands”.

Local sources have told KabulNow that over 60 acres of farmlands in Qala-e-Sukhta village have been given to Pashtuns.

On 19 December 2022, protests against the land grabs by locals in 8 Sar-e-Pul villages were violently suppressed by Taliban forces. Local sources told KabulNow that the group was seizing their ancestral lands and giving them to Pashtun families who have been encouraged to move to the area.

Some of Afghanistan’s northern provinces have seen a rise in land disputes between the locals and Pashtuns from other provinces, mostly Kuchis (nomads) , since the Taliban’s retaking of the country. In most disputes, local residents have accused the group of siding with the Pashtuns in order to depopulate the area of non-Pashtuns.