Ikramullah was at work at a car wash in Kandahar city on Saturday when he got an urgent call from his family.
The 28-year-old rushed home to find a group of armed Taliban fighters had arrived at his house, demanding that they leave the property in the next three days.
“They came in their ranger cars and ordered us to leave the house in three days. They wanted to take our house with their gun power and force,” he told The National. “They said we were not even allowed any of the items or even the windows, doors, water tank or anything else that we had invested in these houses”.
Ikramullah, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, is among 3,000 families living in the Firqa neighbourhood of Kandahar now left homeless by the Taliban. The area was home to employees of the Afghan government.
Angered by the injustice of losing their homes, hundreds of residents of the southern city, including women, came out to protest.
“The house we live in was given to my father for his service in the army. I have lived there for most of my life. We are 11 members in a family who could become homeless,” Ikramullah said.
The houses at the centre of the dispute were originally allotted to members of various Afghan security departments under previous governments, some that date as far back as the rule of President Mohammed Daoud Khan in the 1970s.