Taliban Leader Blocks Group’s Senior Members From Distributing Land Near Qosh Tapa Canal

Wednesday, 11/15/2023

The Taliban's Ministry of Agriculture has called reports of land distribution around the Qosh Tapa canal as “baseless”.

The ministry emphasised that without explicit instructions from Hibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban leader, no entity is authorised to allocate, trade, or claim ownership of lands near the canal.

In a recent statement, the Ministry urged the public to refrain from attempting to acquire land around the Qosh Tapa Canal until a formal directive is issued by the Taliban's leadership.

This clarification comes amid rising speculation over the past few months about land allocations in the Qosh Tapa development area. Reports suggested that lands near the canal were being distributed to Taliban members.

Last year, the National Resistance Front accused the Taliban of allocating lands around the canal to individuals, including those allegedly transferred from Pakistan, and other outsiders.

Additionally, there have been allegations of certain companies involved in the Qosh Tapa project offering land in exchange for financial compensation.

Mullah Baradar, the Taliban's Deputy Prime Minister, has responded to these allegations, warning that anyone found engaging in unauthorised land distribution activities or financial transactions will face severe legal consequences.

The Qosh Tapa Canal, stretching approximately 270 kilometres, originates in the Kaldar district of Balkh and passes through Jowzjan province before reaching Faryab province. The Taliban has invested substantially in this project over the last two years. The canal, which diverts a portion of the Amu River's water, aims to irrigate about 550,000 hectares of land and potentially relocate up to three million people. Critics, however, view this as a strategic manoeuvre by the Taliban to relocate populations for specific objectives.

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