Why I believe the jirga system should stay

Published: February 27, 2013

The jirga heads following essential procedures and extensive deliberation table their final verdict. PHOTO: REUTERS

We, as people, are very quick to jump to conclusions, form opinions, and criticise what we hear and see in the news. It may be something as trivial as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) holding talks with Tahirul Qadri, or the supposedly fake video that went viral showing the Taliban handing down 50 lashes to a girl in Swat who was found to be in violation of the Shariah law by the Taliban jirga.

Very recently when a jirga in Balochistan declared 13 girls vani to settle a tribal feud, soon after television and social media were inundated with extreme views, some slammed the jirga system as ‘barbaric’, ‘medieval’ and an ‘ignoble’ partisan tradition.

We are entitled to foster different views about issues that conflict with our ideologies, but are we right to hold such extreme opinions about a system that we hardly know anything about?

Or has it become an acceptable modern social practice to castigate a system which does not strike a chord with our ideals, albeit a system we do not even know anything about?

Before we delve into recent happenings and dissect the jirga system that is currently embroiled in negative practices, let us first cast a cursory look at the origins of the jirga system.

The jirga assembly has existed across the Baloch and Pashtun cultures both in FATA and settled areas to resolve issues and feuds way before the advent of Islam and the western democratic system. It is similar in structure to that of a ‘town meeting’ in the United States or a ‘regional assembly’ in England.

A jirga comprises village elders who address, discuss and resolve issues of importance that matter to their community. Their decisions are based on consensus in light of Shariah law and local traditions.

A jirga is based on three ethical codes namely hospitality, refuge and revenge.

The underpinning structure of the jirga, which is the Holy Quran, allows Muslims to ‘Shoora’ consultation, in the matter of resolving issues of special importance to a community, or in the case of Loya Jirga, resolving issues of national interest.

It is affirmed in the decision making process that all layers of society are included and the jirga demonstrates unprejudiced judgment. Comprehensive and collective discussions and the thorough examination of the issues enable forming a consensus which leads to an unyielding approach of dealing with the concerning issue. Then the jirga heads, following essential procedures and extensive deliberation, table their final verdict.

However, if a party declines its verdict, the jirga may resort to punitive measures such as a fine in cash to punish those who violate the decision.

In actuality, it is not the jirga system that allows for abusive practices, but some elders who in recent times have exploited the system either to forcefully impose the Shariah, speaking loosely, or to side with a particular party for political gains.

The bright side of the jirga is that people have access to quick and inexpensive justice, whereas legal systems in the bigger cities are expensive and time consuming.

Some argue about whether it is in the interest of Pakistan to have two parallel judicial systems, while others take it as having state within a state challenging the writ of the government.

However, before asking such questions we need to understand why the jirga system resonates with those who follow it.

The Pashtuns and Baloch, over the years, have been reluctant and sensitive to adopting the western judicial system in practice at the local courts.

At a jirga, the executive does not influence the judiciary while in the western judicial system the executive may and does; for instance the endorsement of the National Reconciliation Order (NRO) by the superior courts of Pakistan at the behest of the then executive, extended amnesty to politicians, political workers, and bureaucrats accused of corruption, money laundering, murder and terrorism.

Ask the people of Swat who grew up during the reign of Wali and they will tell you why they do not like the current judicial system.

During the time of Wali-e-Swat, the jirga was the primary judicial system registering less than ten murders in comparison to the current judicial system where such cases are rampant. There are instances reported on a regular basis where people are falsely implicated in cases or how lawyers manipulate the system to gain time for finding loopholes in the system and prolong the cases to defer judgments.

Where our judicial system has failed, the jirga system has been effectively resolving issues such as; murder, theft, rape and land disputes. However, in some places it has understandably been hijacked by extreme factions and exploited for their own vested interests.

The time tested jirga system – also considered by some as the bedrock of modern day judicial systems – is democratic at its most basic form which means that it is here to stay. Those who argue that jirga laws should be replaced by the mainstream western judicial laws should also know that in Pakistan, we are far from an independent judiciary.


Aasim Raza

Aasim Raza

Pursuing a diploma in Marketing and Bachelors in Journalism and Communications, Aasim is an avid follower of sports and current events, and aspires to become an eminent political commentator.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Fatima

    Women are not represented in the jirga, are they? That’s 50% of your population. And beyond issues of sexual autonomy and free will, aren’t women as capable, and necessary, as men in resolving disputes?

    The reason jirgas exist in present day Afganistan (and even FATA) is because the state can’t be bothered to provide access to justice at the local level. So local communities don’t have a choice. I appreciate your attempt at presenting a complex issue. But given the availability of good anthropological and historical research on jirgas, this is a very poor argument for a very contentious issue.Recommend

  • Stranger

    Agree with you 100 percent. Traditions and customs are made for us. No one makes rules or rituals to trouble or ostracise any particular community or human being. The system gets misinterpreted by some. Lets not criticise the system.Recommend

  • Uzair

    Saying that jirgas are fine is admitting that the people employing them are less than modern people who utilize scientific and logical methods which leave little to change in determining the truth in legal cases. Jirgas are indeed ok for a society with zero interest in improvement towards more systematic methods.

    That being said, of course in Pakistan, the judicial system is need of a massive overhaul, like everything else.Recommend

  • doom

    “Why I believe that the jirga system should stay”

    Because being contrarian always lead to many hits on a blog?

    We all know jirgas exists to fill a vacuum and probably offer good conflict resolution many times. This is not news. But to say it should stay? Forever? Even if it were possible to introduce good courts and police? Even when cases such as vani do occur from time to time and will of course keep on happening?

    There is hardly a debate there. This is contrarianism for the sake of being contrary. Or a case of thinking anything that is native MUST be pure gold as opposed to anything “western”? And what exactly is a “western judicial system” anyway? Are we now graciously accrediting any formal institution as “western”?Recommend

  • Khan

    This is your opinion. The proper court system which you refer to has failed to hand out justice to many in Swat after the dissolution of Wali-e-Swat. This present day Legal system that we follow was structured by the British, which has and will fail to give justice to the poor and weak. @doom: Recommend

  • Parvez

    Excellent attempt at explaining the subject.
    As @Fatima has pointed out the first big fault in the system is that women do not have a voice in this. The major plus point and this is big enough to accommodate other negatives is that speedy justice is provided and equally, justice is seen to have been done.
    The fact that in Pakistan the justice system has completely failed at the lower level is a good argument in your support.Recommend

  • Hammad

    we rather have Shariah courts than this western imposed legal structure. Just because few corrupt people have hijacked the system does not mean that it should be abolished and by the way his article is not criticizing any formal “western” institutions. All he is trying to say is that let those whose who want to keep the Jirga system keep it because we all know that our legal system will never be able to provide justice. Western judicial system is not designed to hand out [email protected]: Recommend

  • Khan

    All of today’s modern civilizations were once tribal societies. They evolved over centuries to come up with better forms of governance. In modern civilizations, roles are assigned, however, in tribal society, the same person is a farmer, policeman, soldier and sometimes a judge. Jirga system is medieval in nature and must be done away with. Recommend

  • Owais


    Every system has its pros and cons. I think this blog does a good job at taking a bit of heat off the jirga system, which is currently doing the rounds on various tv shows. Is this the perfect judicial system out there? probably not, but is it the the best one currently? debatable. In my opinion the jirgas are good at a primary level but they should have an appeal system which can turn around the insanely horrible judgements like vani.


    you are right about the lack of representation of the female gender in jirgas but what is the percent of women serving as judges in our courts presently? how about the army?

    These are just two examples which you can extrapolate to every profession in pakistan. The fact is female participation in all fields is ridiculously low and i dont see a quick fix to it.Recommend

  • Mian Abdul Sattar

    Dear brother, in courts of Pakistan, cases needs to be solved over 25 years. How can you justify the legal courts? plz elaborateRecommend

  • doom

    “Western judicial system is not designed to hand out justice”.

    Ah. You mean that the “British colonial legal system” was not designed to hand out justice…”western judicial system” makes it sound like we’re talking about the judicial systems in all of the West today…which are very varied and and seem pretty good at providing justice. So that is what the author also meant when he mentioned “western judicial system”.

    Sure, those laws need to be revised extensively. And we all very well know jirgas will go on for quite some time because there is no alternative. But let’s not glorify it and ask for it to stay. That is quite defeatist. Eventually it has to go.Recommend

  • Pakidude

    fake video that went viral showing the Taliban handing down 50 lashes to a girl in Swat. how can you justify it was fake?? were they lashing to stone! Recommend

  • Sidrah

    How can you just ignore Vani Karo kari cases like that? What about the Jirga decision in Balochistan a couple of years ago where girls were buried alive since they didn’t want to marry their cousins or the incident in Sindh where a pregnant women was thrown infront of dogs on Jirga orders?

    If the Jirga is made up of influential people then what are the chances that a poor man would get justice from it.

    Culture changes over time. Our forefathers were farmers and lived in huts so should we be criticized for living in cities and having a professional job?? The world has evolved and Pakistan is still stuck in a backward system like Jirga.

    As far as courts are concerned I think our judicial system does need serious improvement but You can’t compare Jirga to the justice provided by Western courts. I live in the Western country and very rarely people have problems with courts. Recommend

  • Khurram Malik

    According to the Author A jirga is based on three ethical codes namely hospitality, refuge and revenge.. The Hospitality, refuge and revenge have already destroyed Afghanistan and KPK regions and If People of Northwest are happy with refuge, so called hospitality and revenge in this modern world then let them live in medieval age with their medieval means as taking revenge and giving refuge to anybody including Terrorists and then protecting them has no place in this modern world. Moreover Baloch and Pushtoon belt have no proof of Jirga system even before 1000 years so the notion that it existed 1400 years according to the author is a mere theory and nothing else and this holds no ground to be taken seriously as no written evidence of Pushto and Balochi language exist even before 600 years. Recommend

  • Noura

    By reading this and the comments it had become more than clear to me that Pakistan’s problems are its own. Stop blaming the West, stop blaming the drones, and start looking in the mirror, friends. If you can justify a system whose “quick justice” leaves no time for real investigation and is almost always in favor of the perpetrator (when they are male; against when they are female) and almost always end up screwing the victim over just as bad as your poor legal system then people like YOU are the actual problem. A system that prescribes public beatings, revenge rape, honor killings, young girls as placating bribes, and etc is why you are where you are. Recommend

  • cautious

    You can’t go a week without reading some obvious travesty performed by some knuckle dragging Jirga – old men who pander to the powerful within the village/tribe.Recommend

  • doom

    @Mian Abdul Sattar:
    So ask for the judicial system to be reformed. That is the correct response. Don’t ask to make permanent a system that is no system at all and is run according to the whims of some “elders” who will obviously make decisions based on hearsay (A heard B heard C who saw D doing xyz) instead of hard evidence. I doubt jirga’s have the ability to conduct investigations, collect evidence, or cross-examine witnesses or keep their biases aside.

    I really should not have to explain why a formal system is better than informal one…I feel a bit ridiculous even having to write this much stating the painfully obvious…Recommend

  • Historian 1

    Tomorrow you will advocate against any age limit for girls marriage, than to implement jizzya for dhimmies and so on…and we will go back to 7th century in no time.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    You know, I’ve already been accused of being a serial blog-trasher, but I cannot resist adding weight to that claim once more.

    Yeah, jirga system is all hunky-dory, except for a few arranged rapes and other human rights violations now and then. No biggie.

    Still works better than those boring, organized, expensive courts. We’d be saving ourselves a ton of money by striking order out of the justice system and reducing it to a bunch of powerful locals being their own legislators, judges, juries and executioners.

    It worked well enough for the dark ages. Heck, why not give it a shot?

    Turns out, inexpensive justice is usually ineffective justice too! Who would’ve thought?Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    “During the time of Wali-e-Swat, the jirga was the primary judicial system registering less than ten murders in comparison to the current judicial system where such cases are rampant.”

    Yes, and more people were diagnosed with cancer after the inauguration of city central hospital with state-of-the-art labs, compared to the number of cases before. I guess that proves that hospitals cause cancer!Recommend

  • gp65

    The jirga system you referred to is similar to panchayat system in India. It can serve as an effective local self government in villages and thus serves a purpose. However it needs to undergo some modifications in order to be relevant in modern times. SOme things that have been incorporated in India:

    In India 33% of panchayat members have to be women thus ensuring women’s participation at local level and also building a cadre of political leadership from the ground up.
    The rulings of panchayats have to comply with Indian constitution. Thus when the panchayats give rulings that are inconsistent with the law of the land, people have the recourse to go to the courts and get redressal. Most recently in the wake of Delhi gang rape, a Haryana panchayat had instructed that women from their village should not wear jeans or go out carrying a mobile. These highly regressive rulings were challenged in the court who immediately ruled them as being an unwarranted restriction on women’s liberty.

  • Asad Malik

    I’m sorry but wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age. Elders without education have no right to make any sort of decision which can have an impact on the lives of others. Ignorance is the greatest enemy of our country. Recommend

  • Jean

    This position is highly problematic, and I would have to concur with the sentiments above that it invokes limited historical context. The jirgas widely operate based on principles of justice residual of the colonial era. They do not acknowledge principles such as fundamental human rights and equality for all people. These are not solely ‘Western’ concepts (Pakistan is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

    Because of the lack of inclusion of these regions by the government of Pakistan, there is typically no right to appeal a decision, and there exists an environment of permissiveness around collective punishments. Now, distinctive legal regimes – rural or national – do not operate in a sociocultural vaccum (i.e., comparing them in terms of an artificial West vs rural-indigenous divide is disingenuous). The recent survey by SDPI tells quite a revealing tale about the widespread acceptance of violence against women in many regions that relay on jirga for ‘expedient justice’. It is no wonder that local systems of justice that are not subject to systems of checks and balances, nor recognize fundamental principles of human rights will produce atrocities. It is also true that the dominant legal system in Pakistan also commits its fair share of atrocities. That shouldn’t deter us from recognizing and doing something to stop the tragedy that unfolds when localized patriarchal systems are left to run loose and develop and implement their own standards of justice. For just one taste of this sort of thing, consider the words of Javaid Khan (of the Utman Khel tribe in Bajaur Agency): “We are quite clear what justice is. If someone kills, commits adultery or some other offence, they deserve to die,”Recommend

  • USAian

    The Jirga system shouldn’t be eliminated all the way in tribal areas as I believe it can bring the community together. People can get access to quick and inexpensive justice and since it’s on a smaller scale, it lets the whole town/village know of the outcome of the hearing. This in turn can allow people to know the repercussions of a committed act. How many cases does an oridinary city citizen keep track of? We don’t even know what happens behind the court doors unless or until the case makes national headlines.

    Jirga should be there to assist and bring justice to the community on a very small scale (it should not take the law in its own hands), it should resolve disputes and should not be a replacement or a second option for the judiciary system.Recommend

  • Duah

    Interestingly all men favor Jiga system as it allows them power over vulnerables as children and women. To maneuver , bid and use for their crimes of fun, misplaced passion and what not. Thanks to awesome jirgas, Pakistan is now seen as a country in the world and it’s population as illiterate, violent and fundamental. Sorry folks, I don’t wanna be like you please!!!Recommend

  • Hammad

    It says supposedly my friend. I think u didn’t read it with your eyes open. He is not saying that it was fake. I think what he should have mentioned here was that it allegedly happened in Pakistan, which it did not. Ans secondly he condoning any malpractices of the system. There is need for reforms and that is what he has pointed out in his [email protected]: Recommend

  • GIndian

    Always say no to mob justice. This article makes no sense. There have been many crazy traditions or systems like widow burning in the past. Recommend

  • Something Clever

    The single most reason the jirga system needs to go is the investigative aspect. Modern court systems have guidelines to at least try to make sure there is little doubt the punishment is given to the guilty instead of turning someone into a victim of the court. A jirga just doesn’t have to like you or the members just need to feel pressured by peer views to harm an innocent person. Modern court systems don’t always get it right but, jirgas have probably harmed people more times than not. Just look at most of their rulings. They’re driven by opinion. You can actually end up traumatizing someone just because they don’t agree with popular opinion. That’s why you guys are always trying to lynch people and rioting. It’s all “follow the demented leader’s opinion” and that’s exactly what a jirga has the chance of being and those chances are high. They just aren’t being violent and it might just be because they know the verdict can take care of that part.
    It doesn’t matter how long its been going on. It has always been, and still is, a flawed system to the extent that it should only be justified if law and order is required and no other option exists. Even in the beginning of the US innocent people got lynched and punished a great deal of the time when using a method to do so that was delivered by the community with almost no guidelines. That situation is almost exactly the same as the concept of a jirga. The difference is, it was seen as bad and people created and evolved the system when they got the chance. Saying jirgas should stay is like saying you’re against your society evolving to the point they develop a conscience that asks “what if it was me?” I’m sure you’d take every word back if you ever found yourself on the wrong side of one.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Something Clever:
    Though your opinion differs from mine, I found it amongst the most thoughtful here. Has made me refine my own view to a degree. Thanks.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    So what about the Constitution and the rule of law? The verdicts these unconstitutional courts mean your Constitution is not being enforced on these people.. Not that your Constitution is worth preserving and enforcing. But, still food for thought.Recommend

  • Zee

    this write up made me sick to my guts…you simply cannot justify a system which is centuries old and hasnt evolved, overtime.

    These people who are the SO CALLED AMBASSADORS of ISLAM, need to get their facts straight about the religion itself. Islam is supposed to be the most tolerant of the religions. Countless examples we have of our Prophet (PBUH) and the companions, of being tolerant. Having said that, I havent come across a single BARBARIC thing done during the early years of Islam, which these bearded mullahs go and relate too.

    If a system is against minorities, if it is against women, if it is against free will, if it is against poor, if it is against things that make sense, then that system needs to be abolished. PERIOD. since the prejudice has already been set as to how to deal with these issues, chances are the next set of elders will do the same. This needs to change.

    As for a judicial system is concerned, it is not Westerns by any standards, we have countless examples of the Companies of the Prophet (PBUH) acting as Qazi’s and presiding over cases. Qazi = Judge. Please get your facts straight and dont make a fool of yourself when commenting on blogs. Its a global village and chances are that someone who knows will be reading and laughing at your comments.

    As far as system in Pakistan is concerened, it needs a complete overhaul. Police to Judiciary, to the Political system, to the Feudals, everything.

    We have to evovle with time, otherwise we are already so far behind, that before you know it we will be gone.

    Education is the key. Literacy!Recommend

  • http://uptonogood.tumblr.com Red

    I was writing a paper on vani and, as I conducted my research, I changed my topic to jirgas. As Fatima mentioned in the beginning, all research on jirgas and panchayats argues against it. The most even the accomodating research allows is that it be slowly changed. The recommendation is never for keeping it forever. It is highly discriminatory towards women, not only in its lack of representation of women but also in its verdicts. It is also detrimental towards the poor who cannot meet the requirements for holding a jirga, which ironically includes the hospitality you mention as a positive. Jirgas are also criticized for being corrupt and favoring the stronger party. So much for justice. Also, because jirgas and panchayats arbitrarily make up punishments on the spot instead of following the law, many tend to be extremely heinous. The punishment for not complying with the jirga can be particularly brutal. They are not restricted to mere “fines”. They can include burning down the person’s house which affects the entire family leading all the way up to murder. They are able to enforce “justice” only by sheer terror. Also, jirgas frequently punish someone other than the so-called “culprit”. There is a legal term for this that I can’t recall. The point is that this is absolutely unacceptable anywhere in the world. It is unjust, bordering on incomprehensible. Vanis are a case in point. Only female members of the family are ever punished for a male’s transgressions, never the other way around and never is a male punished for another male’s crimes. Jirga members also lack legal training. You get no lawyers, nothing. Their so-called trials cannot have female witnesses and make a mockery of evidence. Hearsay is allowed. Imagine. The only positive is swift verdicts but given the above, are they worth it? Some regions in FATA have a state-sanctioned Council of Elders under the FCR (as opposed to local jirgas). They are no better. Many people living under the system want it removed…and we are not even hearing from half the population which lacks a public presence and voice. Next time, please do some research before writing an article. Recommend

  • Ahmed

    I some what agree with the first part of your comment, but the way you conclude it is very biased. How can you cite an ordinary tribal to justify your argument against the jirga system. That person is a nobody. He is ordnary citizen giving his point of view, he is not a representative of the whole region. He is not a tribal leader and neither is he an authority on the subject. the way you comment portrays the people of the region as barbaric and savage who have no respect for human life. You can not use the statement of one person to generalise it tothe whole population. You portray the people of this whole region as savages, which is not the real picture. The jirga system undoubtedly has its own shortcomings and demerits, but you can not use the example of one extremist and an ill informed tribal from Bajaur to base your argument [email protected]: Recommend

  • Aasim

    I respect your critique. Those who critique your work are the best of your friends, as the saying goes. The title of the article is not representative of the content and neither of my stance on the issue. I am not all for Jirga system. I know the system has its shortcomings and flaws and by no means it should or must stay. We clearly need radical reforms in the system. All that i attempted to do in this article was to explain why Jirga system is followed by those who follow it and what grounds are used to justify it. Jirga system is popular because of it convenience etc, which works for those who lack the resources to contest their problems in our Legal courts. What i mean to say is that the Jirga system is here to stay unless we make necessary changes in our Legal system to provide fair trial to the weak and poor. The article is my opinion, my take on the system. It by no means is my [email protected]:Recommend

  • Aasim

    I respect your critique. I admit the TITLE of this article is misleading. It does not reflect the content of the article. I am not all for the Jirga System. All i tried to do was to present both sides of the argument and that it is not the system that is corrupt, but the people moderating the process lack expertise to hand out fair judgements. I did not write the article to be contrary for the sake of being contrary. The system has its flaws and no sane person can deny that. All i tried to do was explain why the Jirga system is HERE to STAY. I did not mean take any extreme positions at all. This article is just my opinion, this by NO means is my verdict. You are entitled to a have different [email protected]: Recommend

  • Aasim

    @Khan: The TITLE of the article is a little misleading I admit. I do’t mean to take any hard line or extreme positions on the Jirga system because it is not the perfect system out there and ever since it fell in to the hands of the corrupt and ill informed Mullahs. The system needs reforms, we can not just do away with Jirga because it is embedded in the Pshtun and Baloch cultures. All we need is a reform in the system. Allowing people to appeal the judgments in courts and having informed and educated people head the Jirga. The article is my opinion on why Jirga will STAY not on why it MUST stay.Recommend

  • Aasim

    By referring to the western judicial system I am only trying to highlight the fact that it ignores Shariah and Quranic laws. If our Judicial system was not as corrupt as it is and had we been practicing Shariah Law, there would be no need to have two parallel judicial systems because everyone would be treated fairly and equally. The current legal system in Pakistan that we inhereted from the British does not do well in providing justice to those who lack financial resources or have no political links. People in the villages or the Tribal belt recourse to the Jirga system only because they know that it wont take them 25 years to get a hearing. Jirga system clearly needs reforms and so does our legal system. Once people find confidence in our Legal system and those following the Jirga are allowed to challenge the decisions of the Jirga in the court we wont have as many problems as we do now.Recommend

  • Aasim

    I respect your critque. If you read my piece closely I am simply making a reference to the legal system that we have inhereted from the British. I by no means am condoning Vani and other such abhorrent practices. Jirga is not a perfect system, it has its own share of defects and faults and no sane person can approve of the malpractices in vogue in our Jirga System. Jirga system clearly needs an overhaul, because we can not simply just do away with this system which is fixed firmly in our PAshtun and Baloch cultures respectively. My blog is my opinion on why Jirga will stay. The TITLE is just misleading and not representative of the content of the article.
    As for our courts, they are corrupt to the teeth. Only if you ever had a chance to experience our court system you would know the extent of corruption. Recommend

  • Aasim

    I respect your critique. I am not all for the Jirga system. I agree it has its own faults and i do not deny that.. This blog is simply my opinion on why it WILL stay not why i SHOULD stay, which the title suggests. The TITLE is misleading. May it be Jirga or our Legal system they both need a radical overhaul. I have done enough research to present my case. It is not some foolish twaddle. I have tried to present my case and show why those people who follow it will continue to follow and i clearly sum it up by saying that until our judicial system is purged from corruption Jirga system will continue to be practiced.

    Again, this article is my opinion to why it WILL stay not my verdict on why it should stay.Recommend

  • Aasim

    I think you are taking my article out of context. The TITLE is definitely misleading, but if you have read the article you will see that i no where in the article suggest or propose or give a clear verdict on keeping the Jirga system. Neither am i giving a verdict on why it is the better system and should be practiced all over the country. It is my opinion on WHY it WILL STAY, and I also do my best to sum it up in the end. If our legal system fails to flush out the corruption until then the Jirga system will reign supreme in our villages and the tribal belt. When people do not trust the judicial system they have no choice but to recourse to the Jirga system because for that person living in a village or some remote area of the country, Jirga is the cheapest and convenient way of getting justice. Recommend

  • Ansah

    I really liked your article :) Yes I do believe the Jirga system is better for Pakistan!Recommend

  • Khizer

    Nice article with a balanced approach to a very controversial topic, but I think we shouldn’t blame the west for our own bad decisions and ignorance. Modern day judicial system is superior to the Jirga system and the reason why people aren’t willing to accept change is illiteracy.Recommend

  • Insaan

    If you are caught talking to a woman and you are taken for Jirga justice, what would you prefer Recommend

  • amgine

    I’m not fully conversant with any legal system but, from what I can gather, the British legal courts system has a number of levels – from magistrates courts, which hear cases of petty crimes and will also hear cases that might need to be referred up to the crown courts. More serious cases are taken by the crown prosecution service to try in front of judge and jury. The CPS has to first make sure that there is enough evidence to make a case. Then, there are courts of appeal and supreme/law lords courts. And, on top of these courts, are courts of human rights in Europe. So, the legal system in Britain has many hierarchies. Also, in the UK, everyone has the right to legal representation and there is a way to fund cases using a duty solicitor, when in custody at the police station, to free legal aid during the court case(s).

    There are informal family courts, coroner’s courts and tribunals, but these also refer a case up the system when it is necessary. So. If a person was tried in a family court for failure to pay child support and it was found that there was a case of child abuse to be answered, the case would be promoted to the crown court – I think this is how it would work. Even if a jirga court found that a crime had been committed, they shouldn’t have the authority to try it, only to refer it on to a court with greater powers.Recommend

  • http://nil Shahzad Ali

    Dear All AOA
    Jirga system is an old system to resolve different issues,disputes and social problems without any descrimination and misuse of power and not to harm humanity. If we see today that a poor person can,t get justice because he can,t efford the expanses of a lawyer while on the other hand the judiciary is not going to solve the case as soon as possible, what i mean to say is that justice is not only very expansive but also take long timeRecommend

  • http://nil Shahzad Ali

    I would like to that Jirga system is a blockage of social evils and social corruptions.Jirga system is a prophatic profession thats why it gives most efficiant results than a judiciary Recommend