Public reps call for reining in land mafia
JALALABAD (PAN): Powerful mafia, aided by some government officials, is busy grabbing valuable state-owned properties in the eastern province of Nangarhar, lawmakers acknowledged on Monday.
The allegation came at a roundtable conference, arranged by the Free and Fair Election of Afghanistan (FEFA) in Jalalabad and attended by parliamentarians and members of the provincial council.
FEFA Executive Director Jandad Spinghar told Pajhwok Afghan News his organisation had invited all MPs to the event, but only two turned up to discuss pressing problems of the people.
High-level officials are part of this mafia involved in seizing government land in Nangarhar, according to a public representative from the province, Amir Khan Yar.
He remarked: “There is no rule of law in the province; otherwise there would have been no such activities.” The Nangarhar canal project was going to fail because most of the land for it had had been grabbed by powerful individuals, he said.
Yar added: “If I don’t let grabbers occupy land in my native district of Kama and MP Ismat Shinwarai does so in his area, there would be no problem in the province.” He urged all legislators to prevent land-grab attempts in their districts.
Provincial council member Nasrat Arsala said public representatives squabbled over petty issues, paying little attention to the activities of gangsters and mafia, which had become a bane for residents. .
“When I prevent someone from grabbing government land, senior officials would create problems for me,” he alleged, without naming anyone.
Another MP, Ismat Shinwarai, accused the energy and power department of negligence, incompetence and corruption in supplying electricity to the masses.
The lawmakers who skipped the event despite being invited had links with land-grabbers, alleged a civil society activist, Khushal Tasal. He called for public awareness and better future planning to get out of the current situation.
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