Forced Displacement of Gizab Residents in Central Afghanistan Continues

Residents of Tagabdar village in Daikundi province have been forced to evacuate their homes on Saturday (September 25) following the forced displacement of local residents in some of the Gizab region of Daikundi province. In the first phase, on Thursday, around 400 families were forced to flee the village of Kindir in the province, taking refuge in neighbouring villages or parts of Kandahar province.

In response to the incident, Mohammad Mohaqiq, the leader of the People’s Unity Party of the Afghanistan, told 8 am that the forced migration was in contrast to the Taliban’s claims of bringing justice in Afghanistan. Mr. Mohaqiq called for an impartial investigation into the controversy in the Gizab of Daikundi province. Meanwhile, Taliban officials in Kabul say they have received complaints from the public and efforts have begun to resolve the issue peacefully.

A resident of the Tagabdar village in Gizab, who did not wish to be named in the report, told 8 am newspaper that a local Khan of the Khalaj village with the help of the Taliban and local Pashtuns had forced indigenous villagers to flee the region. About 300 families live in the Tagabdar village. According to the locals, the perpetrator named Zahir Khan, has told the Hazara inhabitants in the village to either move or prepare for war. Indigenous people, however, responded that they were not capable of defending their rights and were, therefore, forced to leave their properties. Zahir Khan is the cousin of Jomhuri Khan, who works as an adviser to the Taliban governor in Daikundi province.

In the meantime, another local also told the Daily 8 am that the two villages of Kharkak and Shaghuljah in Lorashio area of Gizab had recently been informed to leave their homes as soon as possible.

local sources say that the village of Kandir, where the residents were displaced a few days ago, has been occupied by the Kuchis (Pashtun Nomads). According to sources, Pashtuns and Taliban fighters, in collaboration with Zahir Khan of the Khalaj tribe, have now forced Hazaras in the Tagabdar village to flee or face the consequences, with a number of families fleeing their homes on Saturday.

On the other hand, Mohammad Mohaqiq says that his remarks about the forced displacement of residents of Gizab district were not intended for political purposes – rather, he calls for an impartial investigation into the matter.

Mr. Mohaqiq stated that the lands of Hazaras and Shiites, according to the plan, will be handed over to the Pashtuns. These lands include Zain, Kandir, Tagabdar, Dahan-e-Nala and other villages of Loreshio area of ​​Gizab district, Suf, Kariz and Sulaimanabad areas of Kijran and Ghamqul in Khidir district.

The Taliban had previously said that the recent incidents in Gizab district were a legal dispute. Mr Mohaqiq, on the other hand, said that the Taliban are trying to cover up their action. He stressed that if there was a legal dispute, the case should have been legally examined in court. However, this issue is not only unresolved properly, but instead, the Taliban have deployed a military vanguard unit to forcefully displace the Hazara people. The leader of the People’s Unity Party of Afghanistan said that if the forced migration of the people is not prevented, a humanitarian catastrophe will occur on the eve of the cold weather.

Taliban officials in Kabul, however, say they have recently talked to locals and promised to look into the matter.

Bilal Karimi, a Taliban spokesman, told 8 am that after receiving complaints about the forced relocation of some Gizab villagers, efforts were made to prevent people from being forcibly relocated and for the issue to be resolved peacefully. Karimi added that the people’s complaints have been shared with high-ranking Taliban officials. He reiterated that, according to the information he received, the controversy stemmed from a lawsuit.

According to Bilal Karimi, the matter has been discussed with Taliban officials and they have promised to deal with the incident properly. The Taliban spokesman said he was unaware of setting a 10-day deadline for residents of Tagabdar village, saying he was investigating.

According to local sources, about 15 villages are under dispute in the Loreshio and Tagabdar regions of Daikundi’s Gizab district. In the first phase of forced displacement, residents of Kandir village fled their homes. In the next phases, the residents of Tagabdar village, as well as other neighbouring villages, will be cleansed of the native population.

According to sources, the displaced population has lost all their one-year agricultural products, including wheat, corn, almonds and other crops. According to them, they are currently in a miserable situation. Given that the winter season is coming, people have no place to go and nothing to eat.