Crime and punishment: Rajmirkhel tribe to be expelled under FCR

Jirga uses collective responsibility clause to convict tribe in monetary dispute

Our Correspondent April 09, 2016
Jirga uses collective responsibility clause to convict tribe in monetary dispute. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

PESHAWAR: Members of the Rajmirkhel clan of the Afridi tribe in Jankor Hassankhel in Frontier Region (FR) Peshawar will be forcibly expelled from their native land by the political administration in the coming days.

The decision has been taken after its members were convicted under the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) following a monetary dispute between two subtribes of the clan.

Israr Afridi, a member of the Rajmirkhel clan, and Awa Khan of the Ghazi Khel clan have since long been fighting over monetary matters. The dispute had been resolved by a tribal jirga, but Israr Afridi managed to flee. Awa Khan subsequently registered an FIR with the assistant political agent of FR Peshawar.

A second jirga, summoned by the assistant political agent, now decided in favour of Awa Khan and employed the FCR’s the collective responsibility clause to hold the whole Rajmirkhel tribe responsible for the crime of its member. The tribespeople have been informed that the political administration is going to expel them in accordance with the jirga’s decision.

This operation will affect hundreds of people from the tribe, Tribal NGOs Consortium Chairperson Zar Ali Khan Afridi said while speaking to The Express Tribune. He said there was unrest among the tribespeople who had been facing hardships for 15 years due to extremism and militancy in the area. A displacement of aged, women and children from their homes for another’s crime cannot be tolerated, he added.

Zar Ali contended the administration had no justification for punishing tribespeople who have nothing to do with the disagreement, as the dispute had already been resolved.

He alleged certain clauses of the Constitution and FCR do not allow trial in the absence of the perpetrator. He added a number of amendments made to the FCR by former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani do not allow the arrest of a person whose relative is charged with a  crime.

Zar Ali urged the Peshawar deputy commissioner, who is also the political agent for FR Peshawar, to take on the matter and warned of unrest amongst tribespeople from the area.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2016.


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