The Info List - Jirga

A jirga (occasionally jarga or jargah; Pashto: جرګه) is a traditional assembly of leaders that make decisions by consensus and according to the teachings of Pashtunwali. It predates modern-day written or fixed-laws and is conducted to settle disputes among the Pashtun people
Pashtun people
but to a lesser extent among other nearby groups that have been influenced by Pashtuns (historically known as Afghans). Its primary purpose has been to prevent tribal war. Most jirgas are conducted in Afghanistan
but also among the Pashtun tribes in neighboring Pakistan, especially in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
(KPK). In 2017, the Pakistani government was aiming to integrate jirgas into the formal justice system.[1] According to The Economist, “barbarism has become synonymous with jirgas” due to their use of punishments such as gang-rape, although, others view such punishments as rare and originating from illiterate backwaters.[1]


1 Function 2 See also 3 References 4 External links

Function[edit] The community council meaning is often found in circumstances involving a dispute between two individuals; a jirga may be part of the dispute resolution mechanism in such cases. The disputants would usually begin by finding a mediator, choosing someone such as a senior religious leader, a local notable, or a mediation specialist (a khan or Malik). In tribal Pashtun society the Maliks serve as de facto arbiters in local conflicts, interlocutors in state policy-making, tax-collectors, heads of village and town councils and delegates to provincial and national jirgas as well as to Parliament. The mediator hears from the two sides and then forms a jirga of community elders, taking care to include supporters of both sides. The jirga then considers the case and, after discussing the matter, comes to a decision about how to handle it, which the mediator then announces. The jirga's conclusion is binding. The jirga was also used as a court in cases of criminal conduct, but this usage is being replaced by formal courts in some settled areas of Pakistan
and Afghanistan, elsewhere it is still used as courts in tribal regions. The jirga holds the prestige of a court in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Although a political agent appointed by the national government maintains law and order through the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), the actual power lies in the jirga. The political agent maintains law and order in his tribal region with the help of jirgas. The jirga can award capital punishment, such as stoning to death in case of adultery, or expulsion from the community. The Sindh High Court
imposed a ban on the holding of jirgas in April 2004[2] because of the sometimes inhumane sentences awarded to people, especially women and men who marry of their own free will. The ban, however, has been ignored.[3] In the recent military operations against al Qaeda and the Taliban
in Pakistan's restive southern tribal agencies bordering Afghanistan, jirgas played a key role of moderator between the government and the militants. The tradition of jirga has also been adopted by Muslims in the Kashmir valley
Kashmir valley
of Indian-administered Kashmir.[4] An all-female jirga Khwaindo jirga ("sister's council") was held in Pakistan, and had 25 members.[5] It was headed by Tabbassum Adnan which helped 11 women get justice as of 2013.[5][6] See also[edit]

Loya jirga
Loya jirga
("Grand jirga"), a large jirga called to discuss a particularly important event. Wolesi Jirga
Wolesi Jirga
("People's Jirga"), the lower house of the Afghan legislature. Meshrano Jirga
Meshrano Jirga
("Elders' Jirga"), the upper house of the Afghan legislature. Afghan Peace Jirga
2010 Nanawatai (nanawate), meaning "sanctuary". Shura, the Arabic equivalent of jirga. Panchayat north Indian equivalent of jirga. Khap equivalent of jirga of mainly Hindu
Jat people
Jat people
of Haryana
state, north and north-east parts of Rajasthan
state and proposed Harit Pradesh state covering Western Uttar Pradesh
Western Uttar Pradesh
in India. Misl
equivalent of jirga of mainly Sikh
Jat people
Jat people
of Punjab (region). Zail


^ a b " Pakistan
is "mainstreaming" misogynist tribal justice". The Economist. 13 October 2017.  ^ SBLR 2004 Sindh 918; excerpt ^ SHC seeks official version against jirgas (2012-12-08) ^ Muzaffar Raina (2006-10-30). "Justice rolls in Kashmir, Afghan-style - Jilted, sheep stolen' Some people in the Valley never go to police but pin faith on a time-tested tribal system to settle disputes and redress grievances". The Telegraph - Calcutta, India. Retrieved 2013-11-26.  ^ a b Khurram Shahzad (2013-07-11). "Women challenge men in Pakistan's first female jirga". Fox News. AFP. Retrieved 2013-11-26.  ^ Jennifer Rowland; Bailey Cahall (2013-07-11). "President Asif Ali Zardari's security chief killed in bazaar attack". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2013-11-26.  section= ignored (help)

External links[edit]

court bans all trials under Jirga
system Afghan women push for inclusion in Peace Jirga Jirga
system in tribal life Shah, Ali Shan; Tariq, Shahnaz (2013), "Implications of Parallel Justice System (Panchyat and Jirga) on Society" (PDF), Asian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 2 (2): 200