Chief Justice of Pakistan declared in August that decisions and laws imposed by the Jirga are illegal even if they’re sanctioned by the Jammat-ud-Dawa. You would agree that it’s the right and commendable decision to make if you knew the truth about the Jirga. It’s basically a tribal council that relies on its own system of justice to resolve communal issues. It heavily relies on customs and rituals that are highly patriarchal and unfair.
The Jirga counil consists entirely of powerful men who are landlords, family heads and influential men. They carry out justice by punishing women for the crimes committed by men. Clearly, these Jigras that operate mostly in Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa and Balochistan, have a system of law and justice that doesn’t align with our constitution or even basic human rights.
And so consequently, a three chair bench under CJP Mian Saqib Nisar has been shaped to monitor the illegal laws of Jirga. The chair has passed a petition against the illegal laws made by Jirga. It has been observed that Jirga system have been taking illegal fines, doing collateral damage to women and passing illegal orders. Involvement of Jirga in criminal matters is not even questionable, it is wrong and illegal.
“Panchait can only deal with small-scale civil problems” remarked Justice Ijazul Ahsan. Jirgas have been passing sentences, ordering heavy fines and violating basic human rights. They can’t continue doing that.
It can be hoped that this bench of judges will put an end to the unleashed Jirga system for once and all. We can hope that Naya Pakistan will ensure the citizens of their basic human rights.