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Civil courts for erstwhile Fata become functional

Updated March 11, 2019

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Tens of thousands of civil and criminal cases have been moved from political administration to civil courts.— Reuters/File
Tens of thousands of civil and criminal cases have been moved from political administration to civil courts.— Reuters/File

Civil courts in the erstwhile Federally Administrated Tribal Agencies (Fata) formally started functioning on Monday.

Tens of thousands of civil and criminal cases — earlier pending before the political administration — have been shifted to the newly installed civil courts.

In all, 28 judicial officers — seven district and sessions judges, seven senior civil judges and 14 additional sessions and districts judges — have been posted to seven merged tribal districts as members of district judiciary. Public prosecutors have also been appointed on immediate basis.

Justice Shahid Khan has been appointed as district and sessions judge for district Khyber, Justice Nasruallah Khan for Bajaur, Justice Salahuddin for Kurram, Justice Kareem Arshad for South Waziristan, Justice Asghar Shah for Orakzai, Justice Asad Hameed for Mohmand and Justice Mamraz Khan has been appointed for North Waziristan.

For now, plaintiffs from tribal districts will have to visit their neighbouring district to file a case in a court of law. As the proper installation of courts, including their buildings and chambers for counsels, cost funds worth billions of rupees, the appointed judges have started working on temporary basis in settled districts adjoining to the respective tribal districts.

On Thursday, Peshawar High Court registrar Khwaja Wajihuddin had said, "Initially, these judicial officers have to work in the settled districts adjoining tribal districts. With the passage of time and establishment of proper courts in tribal districts, they will start working in that region.”