Mehrab Afridi

JAMRUD: The tribal elders of Landikotal and Jamrud tehsil of Khyber tribal district have expressed reservations about the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Act 2021.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Home and Tribal Affairs Department has notified the imposition of Alternate Dispute Resolution Act 2021 in six tribal districts including Khyber, Kurram, South Waziristan, Orakzai, Mohmand and Bajaur, while no explanation has been given in the notification about its status in other areas.

In order to discuss the salient features and mode of operation of Alternate Dispute Resolution Act 2021, a Jirga was held in Army Cantonment Landikotal on Saturday which was attended by elders from Landikotal and Jamrud, security, police and administration officials. Abbas Afridi Advocate said on the occasion that commissioner would head the dispute resolution committee and concerned deputy commissioner would be the secretary. Members of police, a judge and special branch representative will also be included in the reconciliatory committee. They would oversee the proceedings of the Jirga and would also participate in it.

Eminent lawyer Latif Afridi said in his reaction on the development that the ADR is just a replica of the old Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) which has no legal standing. He said the members of Parliament and provincial assembly from merged tribal districts must take part in legislation about rights of the area people if they are serious in doing something positive for them. He said such a law should be formed for merged districts which is acceptable to all people. He said the imposition of ADR Act through an executive order would be illegal.

A participant of the Jirga told that the security forces officers were advised during the sitting that a meeting must be arranged on this issue with the deputy commissioner as the civil administration understands the local problems to a great extent. He said the security officials agreed to the proposal.

The tribal elders termed the ADR Act incomplete, and said they were not consulted for it. According to sources, the elders said that according to tribal traditions, first a ceasefire is announced and then a Jirga starts negotiations with two or more parties to dispute, but the ADR Act did not mention any such thing.

The tribal elders said the existing strength of the committee is not enough, upon which they were assured that more people can be included, and the Jirga can collect fee from Rs20,000 to Rs200,000 from parties to dispute according to the matter in hand.

An elder said according to the ADR Act the parties to dispute may approach court if they are not satisfied with the decision.

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