A view of a tribal Jirga in Khyber Agency. - Photo by Saleemur Rehman Afridi

By Saleemur Rehman Afridi

BARA, 8 December: The people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) resolve many of their disputes through the institution of Jirga due to which it has got a special status. The elders who participate in the Jirgas and resolve disputes also enjoy great esteem in the tribal society.

However, there are also some people in the tribal areas who feel that some tribal Maliks and elders do not perform their role properly in the Jirgas and cause unnecessary delay in resolution of disputes to mint money from rival groups. A tribesman of Khyber Agency told TNN that few Jirga members are seeking bribe from him and they have converted the noble institution of Jirga into a profitable business.

“Sometimes the Jirga members make the rival parties sell off their land or seek loans to fulfil the demands the elders. The Jirga elders unduly delay the resolution of disputes due to which some rivalries go beyond control,” he said.

However, a tribal Malik in Khyber Agency, Salahuddin has rejected these allegations. He told TNN that the rival parties make payment to the Jirga members willingly according to their own likening. He said the reconciliation process often suffer due to the rival parties, not because of elders.

“The Jirga members always try to resolve disputes without any delay. People from both rival parties pay money to elders according to their own choice and no one forces them to pay money,” Mr Salahuddin said.

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