Photo: Rahmat Shahryar

Taliban detains five people over land dispute with nomads in Bamyan province

The Taliban have detained five residents of central Bamyan province amid a land dispute with nomads (Kochis) in the province. The arrests came after the locals protested a Taliban commission’s report on resolving the dispute.

According to a local source, the Taliban commission had intended to hand over the disputed land to the nomads. The villagers, however, did not accept this decision and wanted the dispute to be reviewed and handled by legal courts.

The local Taliban officials have not yet provided details about the alleged arrests.

Another source revealed that the nomads claimed ownership of the land in Punjab district last year and demanded payment of 43 years of rent and half the price of agricultural products from locals.

This is not the first time that the Taliban have detained people in connection with land disputes with nomads. In a separate incident in Nawur district of Ghazni province, the Taliban arrested and imprisoned 17 locals at the request of nomads.

According to local sources, the nomads claim that in 2014, 220 of their sheep went missing in the border area of Nawur and Ajristan districts, and two of their shepherds were killed. They filed a complaint against the residents of Nawur district, demanding compensation.

Over the past two years, numerous lawsuits have arisen as nomads have filed claims against local residents in Ghazni and other provinces of Afghanistan. Many of these lawsuits revolve around issues of bloodshed and land ownership.

Pashtun nomads’ spring move to the Hazarajat region of Afghanistan has long been a contentious issue in the country. The Hazaras complain of nomads trampling over their lands and behaving violently toward the communities.

The situation has only worsened since the Taliban takeover of the country. In most disputes, local residents have accused the group of siding with the Pashtun nomads in order to depopulate the area of non-Pashtuns.