Residents of Masjid-i-Sabz village in Sancharak district of northern Sar-i-Pul province claim the Taliban have been preventing them from cultivating crops on their around 30,000 hectares of land because they support the government.
Around 2,000 families live in Masjid-i-Sabz village and they have been staging an uprising against the rebels in self-defense over the past four years.
The residents say the Taliban have control over areas nearby and they do not allow Masjid-i-Sabz residents to cultivate their land.
Samaruddin, a resident of the village, said the Taliban used to open fire on individuals who try to go near the farms. He said recently the Taliban shot dead a man grazing cows in his land.
“We have rendered many sacrifices for the government, but we have been forgotten. Now we cannot go to our lands, if the situation persists, the residents of Masjd-i-Sabz would face famine and would leave the area,” he said.
Provincial Council Member Asadullah Khurram, who also hails from Masjid-i-Sabz area, confirmed the situation and warned if the government did not pay attention to the issue, the villagers would be left with no option but to migrate elsewhere or die of hunger.
Deputy Governor Abdul Malek Azemi also acknowledged the grievances of the Masjid-i-Sabz residents and added: “The residents of the area support the government, but the government is silent about their situation.”
He said the provincial government was trying to aid the residents by attacking the Taliban.
Pajhwok attempted to seek Taliban’s view on the issue but the group could not be contacted.