Conflict ruined our economy, farms: Agonized Arzo inhabitants


GHAZNI: Continuous fighting in the Arzo area of southeastern Ghazni’s capital has so far forced as many as 800 families to abandon their residences as their farms and bazaars have been ruined.

Arzo locality is located only six kilometers south of Ghazni city where the conflict between the Taliban and Afghan forces intensified around five months ago when security forces established new posts on the Ghazni-Paktika highway that passes through the area.

The deteriorated security situation and unabated battles between Afghan security forces and the Taliban over the past few months have ravaged the area and left many civilians dead besides inflicting casualties on both the warring sides.

Mohammad Haris, an elder while disappointedly looking at his demolished house, said, “We had a good economy, farms and livestock but the conflict destroyed them all. The Taliban forced us to leave our solar water pumps on, something that drained the underground water and thus we were obliged to leave our houses”.

Saidullah, another resident of the area said, “We only tried to survive through the battle. Now, I’ve come back because commando forces have been deployed here recently. I wanted to collect goods from my shops but saw that all the shops were looted.” He said the shops were plundered by the Taliban and he suffered 600,000 Afghanis in financial losses.

Another dweller of the area, Ghulam Sanayee, has recently returned to Arzo and said that the situation was currently somehow better with the deployment of commando forces.

Commando forces stationed in the area said that they would stay in Arzo as long as the Taliban threatened local security. They said the area was now secure and local people could return to their homes.

Arzo is located on the Ghazni-Paktika highway where farming and livestock are the income sources of the local people. Mustard oil is the specialty product of the area which has a distinct quality and is also exported to other parts of the country but all farms have been devastated by the conflict.