Elders, jirga members reach agreement for settlement of disputes in Tehsil Makeen

Elders and representatives from five different clans of Mehsud tribe in Tehsil Makeen in South Waziristan reached an agreement whereby a ban is imposed on women making visits to army camps to get tents and relief supplies.

The decision was reached at a joint jirga convened at Speen Kamar of Tehsil Makeen in South Waziristan. The first session of Jirga was held on September 4 and continued until the agreement was issued. The agreement was named ‘TEENGA’.

The Jirga has constituted a 60-member team to ensure implementation of its decisions as well as playing role in settlement of local disputes.

Upon contact, a tribal elder from Makeen confirmed holding of Jirga for discussing multiple issues and taking decisions. On the other hand, he claimed that there have been several contentions amongst the participants over certain issues pertaining to dowry, meher and other wedding charges and obligations for both sides.

He, however, reminded that the ban on women to visit government offices and meeting with officials without consent of elders or Jirga members is not new as it is has been in place for a long time.

The Jirga in its agreement (Teenga), fixed Haq-i-Meher (jointure) at RS 150,000 and two Tola of gold (jewellery). In case, the bride disapproves of the groom, the girl’s side will have to pay the mehr amount, jewellery and other gifts back to the boy’s family. It was further decided that the girl will not be allowed to remarry within the village if she has gotten divorce on demand. On the other hand, if the girl has been divorced by her husband, she will be allowed to remarry within the village but not in the family of first husband.

In a bid to eliminate the evils of Wolwar (bride price) payable to girl’s family, the groom’s family is liable  to gift the girl’s family a sheep or bakra (goat).  Khalwat (fee of Qazi, Mulla and Jirga) has been set at RS 10,000 payable by both sides. The GHAG system has been scrapped in the area and the girl or her parents will be allowed to marry their daughter in a family of choice. However, no one can violate the terms of Haq-i-Meher.

It was further decided that no woman shall visit the army or official camps for getting tents or other relief goods without consent of Jirga members or in the absence of male relatives. In such a case, the violators would pay an amount of RS 100,000 as fine. Similarly, the jirga has imposed a ban on taking photos or making videos of women using cell phones or else, the violators will be fined RS 500,000 in addition to being ousted from the area.

Similarly, the jirga has banned sale and purchase of narcotics and a penalty of Rs 500 has been imposed on violators. No further clarification of this clause has been provided as smoking of Hash is now a prevalent practice throughout the tribal areas.

The Jirga in its agreement also evolved a procedure for settlement of land, property, business and other disputes amongst the local tribesmen. The Jirga has also constituted an impartial sixty members body. The parties involved in a dispute will have the right of objection/opposition to the opinion of members part of the resolving body. However, the two sides will be bound to accept the decision. Failure in doing so will lead them to be handed over to the armed forces. Such people will remain in prison till acceptance of the decision.

In accordance with the Teenga (agreement), 80 per cent of the fine amount will be distributed amongst the Jirga members whereas the remaining 20 per cent will be used to finance the jirga meetings, travelling expenses etc. In this respect, a finance committee will be constituted.

The tribal elders from Makeen Tehsil of South Waziristan became the first in reaching an agreement (Teenga) upon completion of repatriation of displaced families. Until now, thousands of tribesmen from all over South Waziristan are scattered in Tank, Dera Ismael Khan and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Tribesmen from the rest of tribal agencies and regions face a similar situation.

 



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