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Tens of Kuchi families from Pakistan have relocated to Faryab province

Local sources report that tens of nomadic Kuchi families from Pakistan have been relocated to the Khwaja Sabzposh and Shereen Tagab districts of northern Faryab province, promoting fears among native residents.

Since last two weeks, at least 30 Kuchi families have seized over pasture lands of Shereen Tagab’s Astana Baba area and Khwaja Sabzposh’s Loqman area, driving native villagers out of their lands, local sources said.

One resident of the Astana Baba area told KabulNow on condition of anonymity that members of the incoming Kuchis are armed and have been involved in several clashes with local residents. The source, however, did not mention if these clashes resulted in casualties.

Another resident of the Loqman area confirmed that in recent days more than ten Pakistani Kuchi families have resettled in their area alone.

Local residents have called this an “oppression of their rights” saying their lands and livelihoods are threatened.

They also asserted that these incoming Kuchis have claimed ownership over native people’s pasture lands.

A separate source revealed that these Kuchi families are actually members of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Taliban officials in the province have not commented.

Nevertheless, the Taliban authorities earlier confirmed that the group is relocating thousands of Pakistani migrants, believed to be TTP members, to the northern, central, and southern regions of Afghanistan to assure Islamabad that the refugees are not involved in attacks against the Pakistani government.

This decision drew widespread criticism from political as well as military groups opposed to the Taliban, saying the move will destabilize the north as it will provide sanctuaries for the TTP fighters and depopulate the local residents.

In June, local sources confirmed that the Taliban relocated at least 320 armed TTP members to the northeastern Takhar province.