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Letter to the Editor: Clerics, Jirga’s and Constitution

By Naseeb Ullah Kakar

On 16th February of this year, a couple was stoned to death on charge of adultery in a remote area of Loralai district in Balochistan. The couple, both married to other people, was believed to be in their 30s. They were killed on suspicion of having illicit relations. On the basis of these suspicions people of the village approached the cleric. The cleric issued a fatwa against the couple after he heard the case and then Jirga decided to kill both of them. Such killings are illegal in Pakistan, but the law enforcement agencies can’t stop them from happening. Media reports these cases for the sake of headlines and then forgets them like they never took place.

Here the question arises, that what is the power of Jirga and fatwa in our constitution? Cleric of every other mosque of is in a habit of issuing fatwas, and people of every other village old their own Jirga.  It must be noted that fatwas of clerics and Jirga’s of people are illegal according to constitution which provides its own Shariah law, then why this law is not effective? Why those culprits who violate rule of law are not brought to the court of justice? Why government is so passive in this matter that they don’t take any step to solve this important issues. These fatwas and Jirga’s have taken lives of scores of people, especially woman. Government should take some serious steps in this regard and provide a frame work to control such wrong doings. The very first step needed to be taken is that government should register all the clerics, keeping in mind that more than 50% of clerics of mosques in villages are foreigners. Secondly, they should put some limitations on Jirga especially in those cases where rule of law is being compromised.

Published in The Balochistan Point on July 17th, 2014

Disclaimer: The Balochistan Point not necessarily agrees with the views expressed in this article.

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