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Jirga System: Forum to Dispense Justice-Traditional Vs Islamic(A Case-Study of FATA-Pakistan)

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Year: 2017
COI code: ICJE01_092
Paper Language: English

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Authors Jirga System: Forum to Dispense Justice-Traditional Vs Islamic(A Case-Study of FATA-Pakistan)

Shehzadi Zamurrad Awan - PhD Assistant Professor of Political Science at Forman Christian College, Pakistan


Jirga is a unique system, practiced in the northern tribal areas of Pakistan,known as Federally Administrated Tribal Area (FATA), borderingAfghanistan. Jirga comprises of elders from various local tribes, coordinatedby leading personalities known as Maliks. This particular judicial systemoperates where the federal government has a limited control, although, itsrepresentatives known as ‘Political Agents’ provide a link between the two .FATA area of Pakistan occupies 32000 square Kilometers of land and isresidence of approximately 4.453 million people, divided into sevenadministrative tribal agencies (Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram,North and South Waziristan). In this area, majority of Sunni Muslims resides,whereas Shia tribes like Turi, Ali Khel and Bangesh in Kurram and Orakzaiagency are also present in a sizable minority, adhering the practices of Ahl alBayt and rejecting the extremist interpretation of Islam, like that of AlQaeda/Taliban. There are instances where the Talibanization faced seriousresistance from the Shia tribes, particularly in Orakzai Agency. Despite of anumber of reforms by various governments, the area is still deprived of properjudicial system. It has further aggravated social backwardness, economicunder-development and political deprivation. As per the understanding ofmodern justice system, there have been instances, where the decisions of Jirgaunder tribal culture overlooked the rights provided by Islamic jurisprudenceand violated human and women rights. Consequently, it raised variousquestions on the legitimacy of this traditional judicial set-up. Today, manypeople from FATA are employed either in settled urban areas of otherprovinces or in foreign countries, which has provided them exposure to thenew value system, nevertheless despite of this experience, they are stillpracticing centuries old cultural norms mixed with religious tenants, devoid ofany sign of development and change. Recognizing the fact that the Jirgasystem in FATA is not a new phenomenon as it is operational since 1901; themajor change in this system was observed after the arrival of Talibanideology, in this area. After that, the power concentrates with those whoexhibit extreme views, thus mixing culture with religion in a way that theybecome inseparable.This study aims to understand the common acceptability of Jirga Systemamong the residents of FATA in civil and criminal disputes and thedifferences between the S hia and Sunni tribes over acceptance and resistancetowards bigotry and religious extremism. In a situation, where neither theconstitution nor the laws of Pakistan acknowledges any legal status of theJirga system, what significance and legal position this set-up posses Moreover, in this scenario, through this study, I would like to understand the


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Zamurrad Awan, Shehzadi, 2017, Jirga System: Forum to Dispense Justice-Traditional Vs Islamic(A Case-Study of FATA-Pakistan), Internationa Confeence on Justice and Ethics, مشهد, دانشگاه فردوسي مشهد, the text, wherever referred to or an achievement of this article is mentioned, after mentioning the article, inside the parental, the following specifications are written.
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