Jirga troubles

Jirga has deep cultural roots in the region.

The alleged killing of a young girl in the Barsharyal village of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, orchestrated by her own family on the directives of a local jirga, presents a disconcerting clash between traditional practices and the established laws of the land. The girl’s crime was a video that went viral on social media in which she was seen dancing with other girls and boys. According to some reports, the video appears to have been edited.

The jirga has deep cultural roots in the region. However, its coexistence with the formal legal apparatus poses significant questions about justice, accountability and the protection of fundamental rights. It is heart-wrenching to learn that a young life was cut short under the shadow of a jirga decree. The coexistence of the jirga system and the formal legal framework demands careful navigation to ensure that justice is served and the truth is reached. It is an opportune moment for lawmakers and legal experts to collaborate in forging a path that respects cultural traditions without compromising the fundamental rights and dignity of individuals. But even before this, it must be ascertained if it is even possible to reconcile two justice systems within a similar land domain.

The collision of these two justice systems is not a new challenge, but it is one that demands urgent attention. By fostering open dialogue and seeking solutions that blend tradition with the principles of justice, Pakistan can strive towards a legal landscape that is both culturally sensitive and aligned with the values of a modern society. However, when it comes to serious instances such as death penalty, the law of the land should remain firm to uphold the rights of all citizens alike and provide a chance for pleading.

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