The two main parties to a longstanding land dispute – the Kochis and hundreds of families in a Takhar village in northeastern Afghanistan – are awaiting a Taliban court decision over the ownership of their homes and lands in the area.
The case is between at least 400 families in Muhajir Qishlaq village in Khwaja Bahauddin district and nomads or Kochis from the Andar tribe who claim the homes and lands now under the control of the local residents belong to them.
Both parties have signed a letter to stop tensions and await a Taliban court decision on the matter that has left people dead and wounded on both sides.
Based on the letter, a copy of which was seen by Amu, the two sides have pledged to wait for another three days so that a final decision is made on the matter.
Of the 400 families, 45 of them are from the Andar tribe, according to local residents.
Another angle of the case
A resident of the village meanwhile said that the 400 families have been warned by the Taliban to leave their homes within three days.
Abdul Sabour, a resident of the village, said a delegation of Taliban visited the district a while ago and asked both sides to avoid any movement until the court decision is finalized.
Shokrullah, another resident of Khwaja Bahauddin district, said that in recent clashes between the two sides, local residents have been “tortured” by the Kochis “who are mostly armed.”
He said that a recent clash between the two parties had brought the Taliban commander and the deputy governor to the district.
“Habibullah Shaker, the security commander and Mohammad Kazem Tariq the deputy governor of the Taliban in Takhar, went to Khwaja Bahauddin district on Wednesday, Oct. 5, and ordered 400 families of Mohajir Qishlaq to leave their homes,” he claimed.
At least three members of the Kochi tribe were killed and four others were wounded in a recent clash in the village, a resident, Gul Mohammad, said.
“The Kochis threw a hand grenade at the locals and the locals threw the hand grenade back at them and three people were killed,” he added.
He said the Taliban arrested some of the residents who were released after two days with the mediation of elders.
The narration of Kochis
The Kochi tribe members in the area said the issue is not the same as the media report it.
“We have legal documents and we migrated to Pakistan during the civil war, and our lands were distributed to others by some powerful figures such as Qazi Kabir and Malik Tatar,” said Zahir Khan Durrani, an elder of the Andar tribe.
He said they won the case in the court during Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani’s administration, but they could not get their land and homes back.
“Not long ago, a delegation from the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) came to the district and asked both sides to stop any movement until the court’s verdict is issued,” he said.
He claimed that the hand grenade in which three people were killed was thrown by the locals.
The lands were distributed to the locals during former president Burhanuddin Rabbani’s reign. At the time, the Andar tribe members said, they migrated to Pakistan, and now they have returned to take back their land and homes.
Taliban officials in Takhar did not comment on the matter despite many attempts by Amu reporter.