Editor in Chief: Dr. Hussain Yasa Monday, February 27th, 2017

Poppy Cultivated on Taliban-Grabbed Govt Land

Poppy Cultivated  on Taliban-Grabbed  Govt Land

JALALABAD - The Batikot district chief in eastern Nangarhar province says the illicit poppy crop has been cultivated on government-owned land this year.
Ghalib Mujahid told Pajhwok Afghan News in an exclusive interview poppies had been grown at the canalisation department’s land.
Thousands of acres of land are located in the district. The arable land has olive tree farms. Most of the farms are under Taliban control.
However, according to Mujahid, the land’s lease is collected twice, once by the government and then by the insurgents.
Ghalib said poppies had been cultivated in Golai area. He did not provide information about what they would do to reclaim the area.
He added they had earlier asked for a delegation to come to the district and investigate the matter.
The district chief had made the request in an interview with Pajhwok. The delegation arrived in the district one week back.
Officials from Canalisation Department, Governor’s House, Attorney Office and some other organs were part of the team that met the individuals concerned.
He did not have more information about the delegation’s investigation, but said how much of the department’s land was under Taliban’s control would be known soon.
Azizullah, a resident of Batikot district, said the Taliban had cultivated poppies on state lands and had a satisfactory yield. He said the government and Taliban gave lands to farmers on lease in different areas.
Canalisation Director Abdul Rahimzai blasted the government for failing to establish its writ in Batikot, where most of state lands had been grabbed by the Taliban.
Abdul Rahmizai asked the government to retake control of government lands in Batikot and then cement its grip on Kunduz -- a veiled reference to the district chief’s claim of winning the battle for the province.
The governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, said the issue came up for discussion at district security meetings, which deliberated on ways of retaking state-owned lands.

Earlier, a clash occurred between the two Taliban factions on state-owned lands, which resulted in causalities on both sides, as well as civilians.  (Pajhwok)