PUL-I-ALAM: Taliban insurgents collect most part of the crop yield from hundreds of acres of land belonging to President Ashraf Ghani in central Logar province.
Abdul Baqi Ahmadzai, an elder in the Mohammad Agha district, who is close to President Ghani, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Ghani has around 200 acres of land in Surkhab area.
“President Ghani has inherited a lot of land from his father, but he bought the 200 acres of land from his brother and cousins,” he added.
Wheat, onion, potato and other crops are cultivated on Ghani’s land by a grower and the land produces good yield, according to Ahmadzai.
He said: “When the crops are harvested, Taliban take most part of it and the least goes to the president.”
The militants have been forcing people, including the president’s grower, to pay them harvests, he said. “Seventeen years ago when Ghani was appointed as minister of finance, since then his relatives are facing security problems.”
One of the president’s farmers, who was detained by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) personnel on the charges of providing crops to the Taliban, remained in custody, he added.
According to Ahmadzai, another grower of Ghani had been shot dead by the Taliban in Waghjan area of Mohammad Agha district.
Ajmal, a resident of Surkhab area, said their area was under Taliban’s control and the 10th part of every crop harvest went to the militants in the name of Usher. He confirmed the rebels collected yields from the president’s land.
Abdul Wali Wakeel, deputy head of the provincial council, said the Taliban collected usher from many lands in Logar province and they used to punish those refusing to pay it.
“Poor and wealthy all are forced to pay part of their crops to the Taliban who forcibly take away yield from lands which belong to government officials,” he informed.
Shamshad Larawy, the governor’s spokesman, said there were allegations that the Taliban collected usher from people.
About the collection of yields from the president’s land, he refused to give information. However, said they would arrest and punish those involved in forcibly taking usher from farmers, but it needed people’s cooperation.
The Taliban also confirmed they collected usher from people in Logar province, including the head of the Kabul administration. (Pajhwok)