Kuchis Are Taking Advantage of Hazara Farmlands in Ghazni’s Nawur District

Some residents of the Nawur district in Ghazni province have claimed that armed Kuchis (Pashtun Nomads) have entered parts of the district since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban. Kuchis in this district are reportedly grazing their flocks on the farmlands of the Hazara people.

A resident of Nawar district, speaking on condition of anonymity, told 8 Subh Daily that with the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, Pashtun nomads are grazing their flocks on the farms of the Hazaras.

“They used to graze their flocks in the mountains and pastures,” he added. “But this year we do not have water, they are armed to the teeth and use force.”

This resident of Nawur called on the Taliban to stop the arbitrariness and oppression of the Kuchis. Agriculture is the only source of income for almost all families in the district.

“The Taliban recently evicted four Hazara families from their homes in the village of Qorban-Mordah,” he says. “These four families have taken refuge to our village – the Kuchis have now occupied their homes. They have also broken down the gates of mosques and houses.”

This resident of Nawur also noted that the nomads have told the villagers of Surma area that they were no longer allowed to use the water dam.

“Surma residents now use a fountain inside the village, and women wash their dishes and clothes here,” he says. “The Kuchis even bring their flocks to this village’s fountain.”

Nawur villagers have spoken to Taliban officials. The Taliban district governor has promised to address the issue, but people say they do not trust the Taliban.

Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi denies the allegations. Karimi says the Kuchis graze their herds in certain areas, not on people’s agricultural lands. He also denied the harassment of residents by Kuchis. Conflict between nomads and the people of Nawur is nothing new. In the past, residents often had armed conflicts with Kuchis.

Maisam Sahra, a civil activist and resident of Nawur district in Ghazni province, said the Kuchis had entered parts of the district. Mr. Sahra adds that they graze their herds on the Hazara people’s farmlands.

“In the past, armed nomads have also come to Nawur but did not graze their sheep and camels on people’s farms,” he says. “This year, however, they are grazing herds on people’s private lands. They are treating locals violently and seeking revenge in the district.”

Maisam Sahra says this situation will not last forever. According to him, the Taliban should prevent the nomads from oppressing the Nawur’s defenseless people.

According to reports, in 2016, armed nomads attacked the village of Sabz-Aab-e Khawat in the Nawur district of Ghazni province, setting fire to some residential houses. The 2011 report of the Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on the details of the conflict between the Kuchis and the locals in Nawur states that during the armed conflicts, 36 villages were severely damaged, with 782 families fleeing and being forcibly displaced. There are also reports indicating that the locals’ properties have been looted. These include carpets, utensils, food, livestock, furniture, clothing, and in some cases cars, motorcycles, and shops.

According to reports, 20 buildings were destroyed and 7 schools and a clinic were closed during the clashes. Reports indicate that 2030 students were deprived of their rights to education as a result of these conflicts. Many people were also denied access to health care.

Many social media users have also condemned the Kuchis for harassing civilians. They have called on the Taliban to stop harassing the people. Najibullah Khalili wrote on his Facebook page that the Taliban must bring justice in this district.

It is worth mentioning that all the residents of Nawur, the largest district of Ghazni, are Hazaras. Before the fall of the government, security forces and public uprising forces in the district had strongly resisted the Taliban. Even a week after the fall of Ghazni, the district was under the control of public uprising forces. Simultaneously with the fall of Kabul, the district also fell to the Taliban.