A meeting of the National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee, (NJPMC), was held under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Chief Justice of Pakistan/Chairman, NJPMC, in Committee Room, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad.
On special invitation, the meeting was graced by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Mushir Alam, Senior Puisne Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan, and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan. The meeting was attended by the Hon’ble Members of the NJPMC, including Hon’ble Chief Justice, Federal Shariat Court, Mr. Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzai, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh, Chief Justice, High Court of Sindh (participated in the meeting through video linking), Mr. Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, Chief Justice, Peshawar High Court, Mr. Justice Athar Minallah, Chief Justice, Islamabad High Court, Mr. Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Chief Justice, High Court of Balochistan and Mr. Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan, Chief Justice, Lahore High Court.
Dr. Muhammad Raheem Awan, Secretary, National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee (NJPMC) convened the meeting. Furthermore, on special invitation, Dr. Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Health and Dr. Khurram Shahzad Akram, Incharge Judges Medical Centre, also attended the meeting.
The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan/Chairman, NJPMC welcomed the participants and remarked that the prevailing situation on Corona Virus (COVID-19) in the country requires special attention and practical actions. He further remarked that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has already issued instructions regarding preventive measures to minimize the spread of contagion COVID-19. The Hon’ble Chair mentioned that Dr. Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Health, has been specially invited for apprising the Committee regarding various measures taken by the Federal Government to curb the Coronavirus in the Country.
The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan further remarked that we will not compromise on our judicial system and not let it be derailed by getting panicked as people of Pakistan have great deal of confidence on judicial system so we will never disappoint them. The apex judiciary of the country will ensure and take all the necessary preventive measures for health and safety of our judges, court staff, lawyers, litigants and other justice sector stake holders up to the district and tehsil levels.
Hon’ble Chairman, NJPMC, said that detailed instructions have already been issued to all High Courts to take all possible preventive measures by way of case management to ensure that the Court Rooms are not crowded and physical contact between individuals attending Courts is avoided. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has been and will continue to monitor implementation of such measures. The Secretary, NJPMC, briefed the Committee about the prevailing situation on Corona Virus in the country.
The Secretary also apprised the Committee about preventive measures taken by the august Supreme Court of Pakistan to curb the virus, which include avoiding hand shake, regular use of fumigation and disinfectant for cleaning of court premises/offices, cafeterias, Bar rooms, libraries, mosques and committee room, etc. After deliberations, the Committee unanimously resolved that instructions/guidelines issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, shall be adopted by the Federal Shariat Court and High Courts upto the District and Tehsil Courts. Besides, the same may also be forwarded to the superior Judiciary of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. The Committee also deliberated upon and directed that the jail inmates (prisoners) shall be protected from being exposed to the risk of coronavirus/infection without denial of their right of family meetings, however, authorities will make sure to adopt precautionary measures and regulate the procedure of meetings. The Committee also deliberated upon likelihood of jail inmates to be exposed to coronavirus coming from outside, therefore, visitors visiting jail premises should be examined and properly screened to avoid any threat of infection of coronavirus to the prisoners, if any of the prisoner found infected he will be quarantined within jail premises without any delay from the premises.
The NJPMC unanimously resolved to adopt all these SoPs issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which would be applicable on all the Courts. It is further decided that courts will remain open at all levels by reducing the judicial work load, so that the people working in the courts or visiting shall not be exposed to any risk of getting affected by virus. Therefore, people are urged not to unnecessarily visit court premises unless specifically required by any court. It is further resolved that protocol of health and hygiene would be ensured and adopted.
In this regard like High Courts, District Courts will also reduce the work by hearing urgent matters and discouraging the entry of general public, as well as, assure to conduct screening tests of all persons entering in the Court premises. It is also resolved that no adverse order against any party would be passed in the courts in default i.e. non-prosecution or ex-parte order, etc. The Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Health informed the Committee that the issues like National Health Policy, Coordination, Research and Development, etc., devising guidelines regarding health emergencies and global representations, resides with the Federal Government.
Further informed that in the National Institute of Health, Islamabad, a surveillance unit has been established while there are similar units also operational in the Country and symptoms of Corona Virus are not disease specific. Moreover, the Virus has entered into Country from outside. Whereas, in few days, the Federal Government would import kits which would be made available to the Public Sector Health institution free of cost, moreover, the said free kits will be provided for conducting tests of specified categories of individuals free of cost to the eminent private sector hospitals and diagnostic centers.
The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Health further informed that in the 32nd Meeting of the National Security Committee, dated 13th March, 2020, it was decided that the National Disaster Management Authority would be the lead operational agency of the Federal Government and would coordinate its efforts with the provincial and district authorities for implementation of preventive and curative actions.
He further informed that the Federal Government Hospital, Islamabad, near to the National Institute of Health, Chak Shahzad, Islamabad, is being dedicated to combat Corona Virus. Moreover, the private sector is also coming forward to help the government to combat the Corona Virus. It was further resolved that the Crisis Management Committees would be formed by the respective High Courts to liaison with the concerned authorities for devising mechanism for safe guarding general public, litigants, lawyers, etc., from the spread of Corona Virus in the Federal Shariat Court and respective High Court premises, while for the District Judiciary the Hon’ble Chief Justice, High Courts would devise uniform plan/SoPs after consulting with the respective Administrative Committees, District and Sessions Judges and Bars.
Besides, the High Courts shall decide suitable protocol for type of urgent cases to be fixed for hearing, the number of Judges to hold Court, the duration of their sessions held on rotation and the corresponding number of judges and the staff that shall be on leave during such sessions. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan has been nominated as focal Judge being Chairman of the Supreme Court Health and Safety Committee to ensure the implementation of the directions of the NJPMC. Whereas, the Federal Shariat Court and High Courts would also nominate a Focal Person to maintain the liaison among the Judiciary, Government Departments and relevant authorities.
The Hon’ble Chief Justice of High Courts will take such additional steps including administrative measure in consultation with Provincial health Authorities as may be deemed necessary. In order to ensure uniformity, the Hon’ble Focal Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan shall be kept in loop before such additional steps and measures are implemented. It was unanimously agreed that these all measures are taken for three weeks after that these will be reviewed according to the prevailing situation of the county.
The Concept of Human Rights in Islam
In order for us to do justice to the topic of Islamophobia, it is imperative that we understand what fear implies. Fear is defined as “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.” In line with this definition, it would not be wrong to claim that many in the Western world are currently living in a state of fear of Islam.
However, one needs to acknowledge that the threat Islam is seen as posing to the world is imagined rather than real. Unfortunately, though, the repercussions of this irrational fear of Islam are not only affecting individual Muslims in the form of increased discrimination, harassment, and persecution but also infiltrating into foreign policy decisions worldwide.
The West has numerous misconceptions about Islam, particularly with regard to human rights. Often human rights violations in certain dictatorial regimes in the Muslim world are cited to prove the point. The point to note is that human rights violations can never really occur in genuine Islamic states. Ironically, the West continues to support these oppressive autocracies and despotic regimes in the Muslim world, ignoring popular voices that oppose these regimes and their rulers.
Islam upholds the same human rights precepts as enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Unfortunately, though, it must be conceded that these rights are rarely upheld in the so-called Muslim world. The word Islam literally means submission to God, which only means that Islam encapsulate the same moral principles as outlined in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, both of which served as templates for the modern Western code of law and legal system. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) introduced the concept of human rights to Arabia when there was no such concept in the world, what to speak of 7th century Arabia. He is the one who promoted human rights and human dignity not only for his followers, but also for all of humanity.
Islam, as a growing force in the world, is not a threat and it is compatible with the Western ideals of freedom and democracy. This is not to say that an Islamic society would look like an American one, but neither do any of the socialist democracies or monarchies found throughout Western Europe and much of the Western world are modeled on the American system. It should not be the West’s goal in particular America’s, to impose their own version of democracy in the Islamic world but rather to support the rise of governments that uphold the same tenets of equality, freedom, and justice that the West holds dear.
Undoubtedly, the message of some emergent Islamic groups tends to be more extreme (often misrepresenting or misreading Islamic teachings altogether), but the West needs to understand that this is often a reaction to the policies of some of its states and their governments. If Islamic groups that protect human rights and representative ideals were to receive support from the West, they would be able to find a foothold in the Muslim world and help usher in a new era of peace and prosperity.
Before proceeding to unveil human rights as envisaged in the Qur’an, it is necessary to point out that while most Muslim scholars cite human rights to highlight certain apparent similarities in Western and Islamic value systems, they erroneously try to cloak the Islamic values in contemporary Western ideological garb so as to project them in a favorable light.
Using the UDHR as a reference point, they fashion frail arguments using verses such as: “We have honored the children of Adam (AS) and carried them on land and sea and provided them with good things and preferred them over many of those we created,” (Qur’an, 17:70) to prove, for example, that “dignity is a resolute principle that every human being warrants at a humanitarian level.” This initiative is merely an attempt to squeeze out of the Qur’anic verses something, which has a resemblance to modern Western declarations. In fact, most readers would not have otherwise interpreted dignity in this passage as it is conventionally defined (dignity: “the quality or state of being worthy of esteem or respect’). Islam does indeed uphold the spirit of such values, but refers to them in a manner that can be applied across time and space. The Qur’anic precepts are universal and are meant for the purpose of individual spiritual development, as well as a blueprint for establishing peace and harmony between peoples. For example, God says in the Qur’an:
“O mankind, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant..” (Qur’an, 49:13)
This affirmation of a single lineage of common ancestry links all human beings as brothers and sisters. After all, we are all descendants of one father and one mother. From this clearly flow the concepts of brotherhood and reciprocity and all other ideals central to civilized interactions between peoples. However, the pursuit of happiness in the Western and Islamic contexts may differ. If one’s pursuit of happiness encroaches on another individual’s basic rights, Islam would not condone it, given the obvious difficulties that would arise (cannibalism is an extreme, albeit excellent example).
While Qur’anic ideals are timeless, Islamic thinkers need to explain them in universal terms. For example, readers need not be reminded that slavery was allowed in the United States until 1865 (although technically not until 1928 with the abolition of the convict-lease system and even with such legislative mandates, most of the slaves bought and sold today – for sex, labor, etc., unfortunately find their destination in modern Western countries without much press or legislative attention). The Qur’an has been discouraging slavery since 600 C.E. Based on the typical frivolous “catch-up” and imitative approach of Islamist thinking, Muslim apologists, prior to 1865, would even have contended that Islam also allowed slavery because it never forbade it.
Again, Islamists should concentrate their efforts towards defending universal truths as conveyed through all the sacred scriptures, especially the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity & Islam. Some of these timeless spiritual principles are reflected in the thirty articles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, though many have been still left out, as subsequent paragraphs will show.
Webinar to commemorate the right of self-determination of Kashmiris held in New York
In his key-note address, Ambassador Munir Akram said that this was to mark the fifth of January 1949, when the UNCIP adopted the resolution, promising the right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir through the holding of an impartial plebiscite under auspices of the United Nations. This resolution and subsequent resolutions of the Security Council concerning the final disposition of Jammu and Kashmir and the provisions of the resolution were accepted by all parties to the conflict.
They are binding on both Pakistan and India. Unfortunately, over the course of the last 73 years, India has failed to implement these resolutions of the Security Council. First, by resorting to various forms of obfuscation, and deviousness and delay, and later, through a campaign of massive oppression which in the course of a 10-year period, from 1989 to 1999, killed over 100,000 Kashmiris martyred and brought untold suffering to Indian occupied Kashmir. The latest ploy by India is to impose its unilateral measures from 5 August 2019 when it sought to obliterate its statehood. These acts were aimed at destroying the state of Kashmiris’ distinct identity to induct 900,000 troops to oppress the freedom struggle of its people; to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir; and transform it from a Muslim majority state to a minority territory of the Indian government.
Ambassador Akram further emphasized that Pakistan was of course, entirely, and fully committed to the freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people from the outset and since five August 2019. Pakistan has also put together a detailed dossier, which lists over 3400 specific crimes committed by Indian security forces in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and have called for these persons responsible for these crimes to be held accountable.
Ambassador Akram added that the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Khan, has set out the conditions for the resumption of dialogue with India. And the conditions are three: First, Halt in India’s human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Secondly, the immediate cancellation of all the unilateral measures taken by India post August 2019; and third, reverse the process of demographic change in Jammu and Kashmir
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum said that Kashmir was the oldest unresolved international conflict still pending on the agenda of the Security Council. And that Kashmir was the only international dispute where the solution of the conflict – right to self-determination — was suggested by the parties themselves, India and Pakistan.
Fai cited the example by quoting Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation of India who said on 29 July 1947 in Delhi, “I am not going to suggest to the Maharaja (Ruler of Kashmir) to accede to India and not to Pakistan. The real sovereign of the state are the people. The ruler is a servant of the people.” “Kashmir would belong to the Kashmiris.” Fai also quoted columnist Swaminathan Aiyar of New Delhi wrote in The Times of India “We promised Kashmiris a plebiscite six decades ago. Let us hold one now, and give them three choices: independence, union with Pakistan, and union with India. Let Kashmiris decide the outcome, not the politicians and armies of India and Pakistan.”
“Much is being made of the fact that seven decades have passed since the principled solution was formulated by the United Nations with almost universal support. Mere passage of time or the flight from realities cannot alter the fact that these resolutions remain unimplemented until today. The United Nations resolutions can never become obsolete or overtaken by events or changed circumstances. The passage of time cannot invalidate an enduring and irreplaceable principle – the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir, Fai explained.
Fai made an appeal to the Secretary General of the UN to persuade India to take four steps. 1. Rescind Domicile Law which was designed to change the demography of Kashmir; 2. Release all political prisoners, including Yasin Malik, Khurram Parvez, Shabir Shah, Aasia Andrabi, Masarat Alam and others; 3. Repeal all special repressive laws; and 4. Restore the rights of peaceful association, assembly and demonstrations.
Ms. Victoria Schofield, British biographer and historian said that our aim as we know is to show solidarity on the occasion of the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination day – in the light of the UNCIP resolution of 5 January 1949. It goes without saying that I condemn all human rights abuses – the longer the issue remains unresolved the higher the statistics…the more dangerous globally the issue becomes and the more people suffer.
Again – Ms. Schofield added, putting the resolution in its historical context – two prior resolutions – one passed by the Security Council in April 1948 and the other by the recently established UNCIP in August 1948 – had already endorsed this process. The 5 January 1949 resolution was meant to resolve aspects of disagreement which had already arisen and then move forward to resolution. What is the resolution’s significance today, she asked, in relation to the inhabitants’ right of self-determination? I would suggest, together with the other key resolutions, that it still establishes the necessary principle of consultation, of reference to the people, of self-determination.
So, considering where we are today – and appraising ‘the right of the Kashmiris to self-determination in the light of UNCIP resolution of 5 January 1949,’ – it is important that we learn the history, we understand why the resolution was passed, what the context was, and why it failed. We also have to move on. But that does not mean forgetting the Kashmir issue or setting it aside. We have a voice, we have a pen, we need to continue to highlight the situation so that the inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir can enjoy, like us, in the privileged western world, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Victoria explained.
Dr. S. H. Shaheed Soharwardi, Professor of International Relations at Peshawar University said United Nations resolutions adopted by the Security Council, be it Palestine or Kashmir need to be implemented. Human rights standards should be the perquisite for any member country to maintain the status at the United Nations. Those who are violating the international agreements need to be banned from joining any session of the United Nations General Assembly or the Security Council.
India is involved in human rights violations, Dr. Soharwardi added, including extrajudicial killings in Kashmir. India is using all methods to change the demography of Kashmir, be it land grabbing, allowing non-Kashmiris to settle in Kashmir. Human Rights Council needs can be instrumental in handling the situation there.
Dr. Soharwardi explained that the United Nations has to play a role to persuade member countries to abide by its Charter and other relevant Security Council resolutions, whether in Palestine or Kashmir. In order to avoid more human tragedy, UN must initiate peace talks over Kashmir. United Nations has played a very important role, particularly in East Timor which gives us hope that if it can happen in East Timor, it can happen in Kashmir too. World powers need to settle the Kashmir issue for the sake of international peace and security.
Dr. Halil Thoker, Professor at Istanbul University, Turkey said that he felt embarrassed, as a human being, of the fact that after 75 years since the Occupation of Jammu and Kashmir by Indian Army and after 73 years since 5th January resolution of 1949 by the UNSC, we are here together again and discussing how a nation’s right of self-determination has been denied and how a nation is being subjugated to live under inhuman conditions created by an occupation force.
As a human being and a human right activist whenever I look at the Kashmir problem, naturally, I see a problem from the Human rights perspective. So I started going through the human right reports and other resources so that I may present more reliable information. However, when I went through and found the human right abuses in Kashmir and crimes against Kashmiri people, I thought it will be better to take a look at UN Charters and concerning papers about the human right abuses, Dr. Thoker emphasized.
Thoker explained that he was not a lawyer, nor an expert of international relations, nevertheless, when he read the Article 7 of Roma Statue concerning “crime against humanity” and Article 8 of Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II concerning “war crimes”, without any hesitation his logic had it connected the crimes committed by Indian Forces in Kashmir to those Articles 7 and 8 of UN regulations.
In short, the situation in Kashmir is alarming and the rest of world should act against the inhuman offenses committed against the people of Kashmir. As the members of human race, we should declare that human right violations in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir are not acceptable, and the right of Self Determination of Kashmiri people must be respected and United Nation resolutions must be implemented as soon as possible.
Lars Rise, Norwegian parliamentarian said that the United Nations Security Council resolutions stemming back to 1948 and expressly endorsed by both India and Pakistan mandate a self‑determination referendum for Kashmir administered by the United Nations. Negotiations between India and Pakistan have failed to break the logjam for an equally long period. It is time to recognize the true Kashmiri leadership should be recognized as the principal party to the dispute. It was a glaring mistake from the outset in 1948 to exclude Kashmiris from discussions over their future destiny.
Lars Rise emphasized that he never considered the Kashmir conflict a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan. It is the issue of the right of self-determination that was promised to the people of Kashmir by both India and Pakistan and endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. Modi, Lars Rise added is violating all international conventions. We must call Modi what he is – a criminal – who even banned the Missionaries of Mother Teressa Charity.
Norway, he added, being the member of the Security Council in 2022 can play a role in the right direction. He still believed that appointment of a special envoy on Kashmir could bring the parties together and that it was time that both India and Pakistan realize that until the people of Kashmir are included in the peace process, any negotiations between these two neighbours may not lead them to any logical conclusion.
Muzzammil Ayub Thakur, Director, Justice Foundation said as we remember this day as the Right to Self Determination Day, I’d like to remind everyone the urgency of achieving self-determination for the people of Indian occupied Kashmir. Right to self-determination will always remain relevant but the precondition to that is not just the end, but the reversal of India’s settler colonial project to force demographic change. Since 5th August 2019, India have taken many steps towards fulfilling their promise of an Akhand Bharat, a pan Hindu nation.
Muzzammil warned that Genocide watch issued an alert 2 years ago, warning genocide is imminent. Bear in mind modern genocides and ethnic cleanings don’t necessarily happen by bullets and tanks and missiles. Modern Indian fascism has paved the path to accomplishing their agenda of a pan Hindutva nation.
The youth of Kashmir, Muzzammil added, have announced that no compromise on principles and ideology. The intellectual and ideological lines of demarcations have been drawn. They have sacrificed far too much to sit on a fence and appease everyone.
We must devise a plan for sustainability of this resistance, fostering a new generation of leaders, thinkers, writers, activists, strategists etc, willing to give up everything as I have. Space needs to be filled by the new generation, well equipped and adept in the modern world. Our enemies are organised, and they evolve and adapt quickly. We must too, Muzzammil observed.
Muzdalfa, British Kashmiri youth representative said yet again, we are witnessing another anniversary of the non‑implementation of the Security Council resolution on Kashmir. It’s been 73 years since self‑determination plebiscite in the disputed territory of Jammu & Kashmir remains unfulfilled. Self-determination is one of the fundamental rights codified in all major human rights instruments as well as the United Nations Charter. The denial of this right and subjugation of Kashmiris is the very negation of human dignity.
Muzdalfa emphasized that in these seven decades, we have seen Kashmir becoming one of the most militarized zones in the world, where Indian occupation forces have committed massive human rights violations, that have been documented in two reports of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2018 and 2019. India’s continuous aggression against the Kashmiri people shows that peace could only be restored by a free and fair self‑determination plebiscite. Therefore, Secretary General of the United Nations should call India out for its inhuman actions taken in IIOJK and fulfill its obligation of holding a free and impartial plebiscite, to let the Kashmiris exercise their right to self-determination.
Towards the end, Mr. Raees Warsi read an emotional poem specifically for the occasion.
Tribal Clashes and the Bloodshed
Tribal Clashes in the parts of Baluchistan and Sindh bring miseries and destruction as warring tribes go on Killing Sprees and do not stop until they equal the numbers.
They go on a massive scale and target indiscriminately, the young and old are consumed in the fire of revenge and vengeance.
Tribal clashes create several socioeconomic problems that compel the tribes men to adopt criminal activities for instance armed robbery, mobile snatching, motorbike snatching and stealing in the rural areas where police patrolling is not available.
Sindh, Baluchistan, KP and Punjab are embedded in the Feudal fabric that is controlling the social, cultural and political arena of these provinces.
This is obviously the great game of some sardars and politicians to incite the tribes to fight to settle their dispute. The disputes are triggered from trivial issues like water share, agriculture land disputes, grazing of animals in somebody’s farmlands, marriage, illicit relations and Karo Kari (honour Killings).
These tribal feuds have already consumed thousands of innocent lives since our judicial system fails to provide relief so people are forced to seek justice from the traditional jirga system, run by the tribal chiefs. Regrettably, the Jirga’s decisions are unmerited in most cases,women are given in exchange to settle the disputes,and the verdicts are binding on both parties.
During the colonial era British conferred various benefits to these feudals due to their allegiance to the British Empire. They were awarded lands and properties along with various titles that still exist in today’s Pakistan.
Titles such as sardar,Mir,Nawab, Khan Bahadur, rais and Muqdum are used even today. The princely states were also classified as Salute and Non-salute states, depending on their favorability with the British.
These states were controlled indirectly by British India. Some examples include Bahawalpur, Khairpur, Makran, and Kalat.
For a long time these entitled elite have been ruling and controlling Sindh, Baluchistan and Punjab, for more than seven decades they have had a stronghold in these areas socially, economically and politically.
There are several sardars who traditionally hold hereditary Turbans (pug) of Tribal chief and control their community along with other communities.
In Baluchistan, the most active Sardari tribes are Bugti, Marri, Mengal, Bizenjo, Jamali, Magsi and Rind, In Sindh Sundrani, Bijarani, Mahar,Chandio, Mazari, Lund, Pitafi, Arbabs, Khoso, Chachar, Teghani, Jatoi, Bhayo and Shar. Syed tribes have been ruling the roost in Sindh for several decades, the most important seat of CM falls in their domain.
The heads of these tribal chiefs are autocratic princes and have totalitarian control over the people of their tribes;they enjoy the full authority in their respective areas.
These jirgas are not only lucrative businesses for the sardars, but they also aid them in consolidating their influence over their tribe members who then vote them to assemblies and the Parliament
The Sundrani, Bijarani, Mahar and Chandio Tribal chiefs control the greatest number of tribes in Sindh whereas Rind, Marri, Bugti and Mengals control most of the Baloch tribes in Baluchistan.
The extent of their control can be assessed on the following point that no one can have even matrimonial proposal without their consent and their verdict is final in all matters.
Feudal influence persists in these areas only because of the absence of writ of state and of law and order.Therefore, the tribesmen are compelled to opt for the Jirgas to settle disputes.
The Jirga process is very slow,both warring tribes must mutually agree to end the dispute, this may involve several sittings. Sometimes, the tribes resume their clashes soon after a settlement and pursue the killing spree owing to resentment by one tribe.
The women especially the young girls bear the brunt of these tribal clashes as unmarried girls are exchanged for compensation in case of murder settlements.These girls live in misery as the family members treat them as the daughter of the enemy and resort to domestic abuse and violence.Consequently, the innocent girls become the victims of these tribal jirgas.
The school going children also become victims of these tribal clashes amid fear of attack if they go to school, the enemy may target these students. Such incidences have been reported in the past.
In a recent incident between the Teghani and Bijarani tribes, two innocent students of matriculation were killed they were prepared to appear in the exams this March, unfortunate death took care that.
In another ironic incident a 70-year-old man was shot in the head when he was riding his donkey cart to work so he could feed his minor children and wife. Instead of getting food on the table in the evening the family received his dead body.
One recent incident still resonates in the minds of many when 30 innocent lives were lost in exchange of fire between two tribes owing to a trivial issue of illegal grazing of a cow. This continues to happen due to widespread illiteracy and unrestricted use of sophisticated weapons.
This was the one of the worst examples when dozens of men, women and children got butchered in a single day,in a blatant display of barbarity.
The role of Police is very dismal rather dubious since such incidences also occur in cities,in broad day light. Police usually arrive late giving these trigger happy thugs a license to kill innocent people.
The open display of sophisticated weapons like fully automatic fire arms to rocket launchers makes one question how these communities manage to purchase such expensive arms when their purchase requires official approval and some are not even meant for civilians.
In some instances the police becomes an accomplice taking monetary benefits form the tribe that intends on attacking it’s rival turning a blinds eye.
The Government is clueless or an accomplice like the police in these incidents or deliberately avoids legislation against this butchery of humanity since most of the MPA’s and MNA’s are tribal chiefs themselves. They will never legislate against these crimes as they are well aware that legislation means curtailing their own powers and monetary losses.
It is high time that civil society, legal fraternity, and human rights defenders must come forward to stop this massacre in the name tribal disputes and the Supreme Court of Pakistan must take notice of this cold-blooded murder.
The Government should ban the jirgas completely and all murders under the guise of Honour Killings and Tribal disputes should be treated as a crime against humanity with exemplary punishments. Government should also control issuing of licenses to civilians.
The civil society must create awareness against and promote love and harmony among the communities so that they may settle their differences peacefully and never engage in fighting.Precious human lives need to be preserved especially those of the youth.
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