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MANSEHRA, Feb 13: Although Kala Dhaka has been changed into a settled district from a provincially administered tribal area and renamed as Torghar, yet local elders are not ready to abandon their centuries-old jirga system.

The elders had presented eight conditions to the government for accepting change in the tribal status of their area. Continuation of jirga system in Torghar was one of the important conditions of the elders of the area.

Dawn

“It is true that jirga has dispensed justice to the people of the area but one cannot ignore that women are the worst victims of this centuries-old system as it doesn't give the right of inheritance to women,” Mohammad Zahid, an elder of the area, told .

Enumerating flaws of the centuries-old system, he said that people had been killed in the name of honour on the directives of jirga.

“People, especially women, are killed on the decree of jirga in the name of honour,” he added.

He said that jirga could label a woman as 'cursed one' and put a ban on her marriage.

“There are some women, who were termed as 'cursed ones' by the jirga. They are still unmarried as nobody can dare marry them,” Mr Zahid said. He added that he was not against the system but it was a fact that jirga didn't give rights to women in accordance with Sharia.

“It is highly astonishing that jirga is completely silent about share of women in the inheritance,” he said.

Noor Alam Shah and Hameedullah Khan, elders of Basikhel tribe, said that jirga system would continue in the newly created district at any cost.

They said that they were well aware of legal system in the settled districts of the country but jirga was more important for them.

Chief Minister Ameer Hider Khan Hoti agreed with the elders of the area that jirga system would continue in Torghar, they claimed.

Another elder said that jirga should give rights to women unlike the past practice.