Over 100 families ‘forced’ to leave homes in Panjshir

Panjshir province, Afghanistan. July 2022.

More than 100 families have been forced to leave their homes by the Taliban in Dara district of Panjshir in the last two months, residents confirmed to Amu, adding that the move has been made on charges of links with the resistance front, which is fighting the group in the province.

The families are belonging to Khwaja, Tundkho and Milma villages in Dara district. Moreover, at least seven residents of Parian district of Panjshir have been forced to leave their areas and the trend is underway in both districts, the residents said.

Amu spoke with many evacuated families who now live in Kabul and other nearby provinces in central Afghanistan.

Zakir, a resident of Khwaja village in Dara district, said the Taliban ousted them from their home nearly two months back.

“They had no specific reason for it. They asked us to leave in 20 minutes, and we did… In fact, being a Panjshir resident is a sin according to Taliban,” he said.

The economy of most of those who have left was dependent on livestock and farming. In other areas, they have no source of income as they described.

“We were forced to leave on charges of links with the resistance front while I am farmer,” head of a 12-member family said. “You know that farming is not so good in Panjshir but overall we relied on it economically.”

The national resistance front, or NRF, spokesman Sebghat Ahmadi said the Taliban is putting the ordinary people under pressure after facing “back-to-back defeats” in the province, something that the Taliban has rejected.

Analysts said the move by the Taliban is a violation of international laws.

Recalling article 39 of Afghanistan’s constitution, Subhanallah Mishab, an analyst, said all citizens of Afghanistan are allowed to travel and reside in any part of the country.

“Lack of a government, personal enmities and discrimination are motives behind such acts that are counted as war crime based on international conventions,” said Misbah.

Taliban rejected forced evacuation of families in Panjshir, saying the situation in the province is “under control” and that they don’t need to ask people to leave.

“We have not forcedly evacuated anyone,” Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi said. “The situation in Panjshir is normal.”

But he admitted that some people might have left their homes temporarily in areas where operations have been conducted and that it is “a different matter.”

Earlier, Afghan media reported forced evacuation of 15 families in Balkhab district in Sar-e-Pul province in northern Afghanistan, an issue that was also rejected by the Taliban.