­SWABI: The government was on Saturday asked to grant legal cover to the institution of jirga through legislation, and also give representation to the youth to help strengthen its role in deciding out-of-court disputes.

The call was made at a function titled ‘Modernising Jirga System’ organised by Swabi Print and Electronic Media Union here.

The participants said if the provincial government really desired durable peace and strengthen the social bounds among people, then it should take practical steps to diversify the role and scope of jirga system to make it more productive.

They were unanimous in their call that the independence of jirga members should not be curtailed in any circumstances. They said jirga could be strengthened with government support to keep contributing to peaceful settlement of disputes.

On the occasion, Prof Noorul Amin Yousafzai, who has authored about a dozen books, said there was an urgent need to extend legislative cover to jirga. He said jirgas should be set up at the district and union council levels and youth should also be incorporated in the structure.

“The independent nature of jirga should not be disturbed, but there should be a mechanism put in place to monitor whether its members uphold principles of honesty and neutrality in deciding disputes,” he said.

Jehan Bahadar, who is member of Maneri jirga, said the dispute resolution mechanism should evolve in line with the modern-day needs as nature of disputes and crimes had also changed. “Jirga has to act according to the changing situations,” he said.

Aamir Nawab, a jirga member from Maneri Bala, said there was no doubt white-bearded elders had vast experience in settling disputes, but educated youth should also be given roles to boost the system’s capability.

ARRESTED: The police on Saturday arrested a thief and recovered Rs65,000 cash, eight batteries and a car from him.

Police said the thief was identified as Ijaz Khan, belonging to Pabbini village of Gadoon Amazi belt.

Meanwhile, unidentified assailants shot dead a man in Panjpir village, rescue officials said.

They said a rescue team immediately reached the spot and shifted the man to Bacha Khan Medical Complex, Shahmansoor, in critical condition, where doctors pronounced him as brought dead. The deceased was identified as Raed Khan, 55.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2024

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