KOHAT: The Qabail Qaumi Tehreek on Saturday rejected the extension of the police and courts to tribal districts insisting there is no need for such an initiative as a jirga system has been in place for centuries to decide disputes in line with local traditions.

During a meeting in Darra Adam Khel, a new tehsil of Kohat district, the QQT leaders claimed that the police had a very bad record, while the courts took years to decide cases as thousands of cases had been pending with them for a long time.

Claiming the tribal region was merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa without consulting tribesmen, they said laws should be implemented in the erstwhile Fata after taking locals into confidence.

The meeting at the Martyrs’ Square was attended by people from tribal districts, including elders.

Noted among participants were Khan Marjan of North Waziristan, Badshahi of South Waziristan, and retired Brigadier Syed Wazir and Zain Gul of Mohmand tribal district.

QQT chairman and former senator Hamidullah Jan and elder MalikAkbar Jan said the decision of a handful of bureaucrats on the affairs of tribal districts was unacceptable for stakeholders, who should be properly consulted for the formulation of ‘acceptable’ laws.

They renewed their demand for the creation of a separate province for the erstwhile Fata and said the Fata-KP merger was a direct attack on the old and properly functioning culture and civilisation of the tribesmen.

Hamidullah Jan said all tribesmen were satisfied with the jirga system existing in the region for centuries and therefore, the introduction of police and courts for them wasn’t needed.

He said the government had earlier decided not to change jirga system for two years before introducing civil and criminal courts and police system in the region.

The QQT chairman said jirga system speedily dispensed justice to the people in line with the injunctions of Islam and therefore, it should be retained.

Other speakers said efforts were being made to impose a judicial system, which had yet to decide thousands of cases.

They said the authorities should speak to the tribal people to know what they wanted before deciding their future.

When contacted, assistant commissioner of Darra Adamkhel tehsil Shayan Ali Jawa said as the high court had struck down sections 10,11 and 13 of the Fata Interim Governance Regulations, the new regulations as formulated by the civil secretariat would be enforced in the region.

He said as a preliminary step, the Levies were being turned into the police force. The official said the Khasadars would be retired, while youths would be inducted in the police.

He said things would gradually normalise as tribesmen had to accept the writ of the state.

Mr Jawa said the government was striving to improve quality of the tribesmen’s life and the establishment of an industrial estate was part of such efforts.

He said the industrial estate work on which was under way would enable artisans to display and sell their weapons.

The official said tribesmen shouldn’t be afraid of the new judicial and policing systems existing in four provinces and Azad Jammu and Kashmir for 70 years.

He said the weapon industry of Darra Adamkhel would be protected so that the artisans didn’t become jobless but only those with licenses would be allowed to sell weapons.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2019

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