ISLAMABAD: Over 800 politicians, religious leaders and tribal elders met in the federal capital on Tuesday to voice their opposition to the tribal customs of Swara, Jagh and Valvar and called for banning these anti-women practices.
Swara is the practice of bartering women to settle blood feuds; Jagh is marrying a woman without her consent; and Valvar is virtually ‘selling’ girls into marriage.
The huddle of tribal elders and religious leaders, dubbed a jirga, was organised by the Community Appraisal and Motivation Programme (CAMP) under its ‘rule of law programme’ project.
The project, which was initiated in August 2010, involves research, capacity-building, training sessions and advocacy campaigns to introduce reforms in the jirga system in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
“There is nothing wrong with the concept of jirga, which relies on collective wisdom,” said Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Barrister Syed Masood Kausar, the chief guest on the occasion.
Kausar, who rules Fata in the name of the president, said that tribal people were the most peaceful people in the world, but were unfortunately victims of aggression. He added that there was a need to propagate the peaceful image of the area’s residents.
“Maliks (community leaders) and the elders of the area have to work towards establishing peace in Fata.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2012.
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