Data Gathered Date: 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 11:00

TALUQAN (PAN): Residents of Takhar said the province facing host of problems including deforestation, presence of armed groups, administrative corruption, drugs trafficking and land grabbing.
Earlier, the government once initiated action to address problems of serious nature being confronted by the people but uprooting the challenges needed stringent measures, locals said.
Alhaj Mohammad Akbar, an elder of Durqad district told Pajhwok Afghan News people of area were suffering including deforestation and illegal hunting of animals.
Since five years, influential were involved in deforestation which was not only erasing beauty of the area but also threatening environment of the region, he added.
He said floods and other natural disasters had been countered because of dense forests in the area, adding river beaches became part of river due to chopping off jungles.
The hunt of birds and animals such as tiger would extinct the species from the area, he informed.
Mohammad Akbar said various birds were migrating to the neighboring Tajikistan due to their hunting in Takhar province.
Durqad is a frontier district located between Amo and Kokcha Rivers, having a kind of island like geographic feature.
Most of the residents complained about the heavy presence of armed groups in the province who were harassing and terrorizing people.
Alhaj Gul Murad, a leading social worker in Dasht-i-Qala district said people were being harassed by armed groups in the district.
The armed groups were deprived people of their cash and kind forcefully and those got killed who offered resistance.
Armed groups were being supported by officials and higher authorities that’s why complains of locals did not work, he noted.
He said presence of Taliban was yet another threat to peace and stability in the province who were coming in large number from Dashti Archi district of Kunduz to Takhar province.
Most of Dashti Qala resident were associated with the occupation of agriculture who complained the government did not help develop the agriculture sector on modern lines.
Cross border smuggling and drug trafficking between Takhar and Tajikistan had been reduced in recent years but smuggling activities were still continued.   
Abdul Wadood, an elderly man from Dasht-e-Qala said huge quantity of narcotics used to be smuggled through Mavara-e-Kokcha to Tajikistan by cars and donkeys during the past years.
But the situation had now been controlled and there was little smuggling of narcotics through the old routes. Back in 2012, some smugglers managed to cross the border in Dasht-e-Qala district to Tajikistan but two of them had been killed by Tajikistan border guards.
According to security officials, the group of smugglers had transported narcotics to Tajikistan through the Arab areas of of Dasht-e-Qala district.
They said a batch of 185 smugglers, who were attempting to smuggle narcotics to Tajikistan, had been detained in Takhar province and recovered around 99 kilograms of heroin, 55 kilograms of poppy, 209 kilograms hashish, 27 kilograms ammonium, 765 bottles of alcohol and ten vehicles.
A large number of people complained about grabbing of land by powerful individuals. 
Ahamd Khan, a resident of Taloqan said hundreds of acres of public and private land had been grabbed by powerful armed groups. The people complained repeatedly but the government was unable to take action rather officials in the government were supporting the influential. He said there was no rule of law in the area and the writ of the government was weakening in Taloqan.
“The government has done nothing despite our repeated requests to ensure rule of law in order to show its presence. People are being harassed by armed groups amid imminent threat to their lives and properties.”
Mohammad Nasim, another resident of Talogan said unemployment ration had been growing with accelerated steps among youth, complaining the government had no plan to create job opportunities.
“I completed my highs school two years ago but could not continue to get higher education due to various problems. I am now totally jobless. I tried my level best to find work but to no avail,” he added.  
He said he had attempted many times to go to Iran or Pakistan but he could not as he had none at home to take care of his mother and his two sisters.
“My father was a daily wage labourer who was killed in a domestic fight. Now I do not know what to do and from where I earn my livelihood. I have neither money nor anyone to support me,” he informed.
Hundreds of youths were addicted to narcotics while a number of them immigrated to neighboring countries whose families had no clues to their whereabouts because of absence of employment opportunities at home, he remarked.