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Senior officials among 15,000 land-grabbers

Security & Crime


Senior officials among 15,000 land-grabbers

Jan 16, 2013 - 20:19

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): More than 624,000 acres of land was grabbed by 15,000 individuals, including senior government officials, across the country, a recent investigation reveals.

A commission, which was created in compliance with President Hamid Karzai's decree five months ago, submitted its findings to the Presidential Palace and the national assembly.

Led by the minister of agricultureinfo-icon, the panel is comprised of representatives from justice, finance and interior ministries, the Attorney General Office (AGO), the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption and Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG). 

Agriculture ministry spokesman, Majid Qarar, told Pajhwok Afghan News the investigative report would be finalised after being vetted by another panel.  He revealed that most of the illegally occupied land was located in Kabul, Balkh, Herat, Nangarhar, Parwan and Kunduz provinces.

A number of current and former Cabinet members, warlords, jihadi leaders, public representatives, tribal elders, regional strongmen and government departments are involved in the illegal practice.

But HOOAC Chairman Azizullah Ludin said the probe would be effective only when the government took practical steps to retake state-owned land and awarded deterrent punishments to the culprits.

"One decade ago, these land-grabbers had little financial resources, but now they have amassed a lot of wealth by encroaching on properties of the people and government. They should be asked how they have gotten so much rich."


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