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Jirgas pose challenge to writ of govt: WAF

HYDERABAD, June 4: The Women Action Forum (WAF) has said that jirgas pose a serious challenge to the writ of state and supremacy of judiciary, and termed the practice a rejection of the supremacy of constitutional institutions.

The forum leaders, Amar Sindhu, Irfana Mallah and Rukhsana Preet Channar said in their addresses to a demonstration outside the press club on Wednesday against the engagement of 15 underage girls as per the verdict of a jirga to settle a bloody tribal dispute, that the government should order the arrest of the Ameens and participants of the jirga.

They said that the holding of a jirga, when a democratic government was in power, was a flagrant violation of law and democratic norms and tantamount to rejection of the supremacy of constitutional institutions. The practice also posed a serious challenge to the writ of state and supremacy of judiciary, they warned.

The Sukkur circuit bench of the Sindh High Court presided over by Justice Rehmat Hussain Jaffri had declared jirga system as illegal but the previous undemocratic government had failed to implement the order, they said. They said that it was the duty of the present government, which claimed to be a genuinely democratic government, to restore writ of law in upper Sindh and enforce ban on jirgas.

They said that innocent girls were being crucified at the altar of bloody tribal disputes and jirgas, and peace and justice had been held hostage in the hands of a few tribal chiefs.

They demanded that the state agencies should enforce the writ of law and ensure justice to people and urged the government to take serious notice of the sale and purchase of women and order strict action against the people who considered women their personal property.

A number of leaders of other organisations, including Sindhi Adabi Sangat, SPO and Sindh Development Society, also took part in the demonstration.

The WAF had earlier held a meeting on Tuesday to condemn the holding of the jirga and severely criticised the government officials concerned for not taking any action against the chieftains for holding jirga even though the incident had been vastly covered by electronic and print media.

The meeting also deplored the attitude of ruling party MNAs and MPAs who it said showed indifference towards such inhuman acts and the tyranny of waderas.
Source: Dawn
Date:6/5/2008

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