• publish: 4 March 2019
  • time: 3:17 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 7313

Afghanistan lost two plots of lands in Saudi Arabia

The Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs (MoHRA) says two plots of land belonging to Afghanistan in Saudi Arabia have been added to Haramain Sharifain’s property.

The plots were purchased by the Afghan government and devoted to Afghan pilgrims. However, they have been added inexplicably to the property of the Haramain Sharifain.

There is no clear answer to the question as to who owns right now the two plots of land. One of them is situated near the Haramain Sharifain in Makkah Mukarrama.

Another plot of around 800 square metres was acquitted by Kabul during King Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz’s rule between 1964 and 1975 for the establishment of Afghanistan’s diplomatic mission in Jeddah.

However, its ownership also remains a mystery. MoHRA insists the land belongs to Afghanistan. But due to governmental negligence over past decades, control of the plots was lost.

Noorullah Ghafoori, an official at MoHRA, confirmed to Pajhwok Afghan News the land in Makkah had been included in Haramain Sharifain’s development programme.

However, the official explained, the Afghan government had not been compensated for the plots.

The plot in Jeddah had been handed over by King Fiasal to Afghanistan for the establishment of a diplomatic mission. But a big question mark also hangs over this plot’s ownership.

In order to find an answer to the question, Pajhwok contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman Sibghatullah Ahmadi several times, but he said the issue was not related to the ministry.

Ghafoori recalled: “Ahmad Shah Baba had bought 300,000 square metres of land — some 900 metres from Kaaba) — 261 years ago in the solar year 1136.

“The land had been dedicated to the Afghan pilgrims but with the passage of time, the property was usurped and added to the Haramain Sharifain’s development programme.”

In the solar year 1350, former king Zahir Shah purchased land with two five-storey buildings, 400 meters from Haramain Sharifan, in Zawqul Hamza village to facilitate Afghan pilgrims. The property was called Rabat NaderShahi.

According to him, the property of Afghanistan was demolished in 1374 and included in the development programme but its legal status was yet to be accurately determined.

“President Ashraf Ghani, during his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, took up the issue with his hosts. The Saudis promised him an investigation into the matter at the earliest possible,” Ghafoori informed.

He said a joint delegation, including representatives from justice, foreign and hajj ministers, wanted to travel to the oil-rich kingdom to investigate the issue but the Afghan ambassador to Saudi Arabia opposed the move.

“The Afghan envoy in Saudi Arabia told us that he had shared the issue with the officials concerned and they had sought some time,” he added.

During the government of Hamid Karzai, Mohammad Yousuf Niazai, minister of hajj, had appointed an attorney in Saudi Arabia, assured that no decision had been taken on the acquisition of land,

Pajhwok repeatedly tried to contact the Saudi Arabian embassy in Kabul on the issue, but failed.

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