Local tribal elders have demanded of the government to recognize their services by maintaining a proper record of it.
Addressing a press conference here they said that whenever a road is blocked or a dispute surfaced in the area, police called local Maliks and elders to solve it like the good old days but the credit often went to police instead of the local elders so the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of each tribal district should appoint muharars who will keep a record of the Jirga and disputes solved. This will stop police from taking the credit for their hard labour, adding that they are willing to work under the DC like the past instead of police where they get no recognition.
“In the past in Khyber Agency alone there were 3,000 grey beards and malik. Each malik was paid Rs80,000 in minimum while a grey beard was paid Rs10,000 per month for his services,” said a local tribal elder Malik Abdur Razaq, adding that these maliks were tasked with solving disputes through Jirga system under the supervision of political agent.
“The Jirga had a legal status because after a Jirga reached a conclusion a decree was issued by the DC as he enjoyed judicial powers. That system is gone and there are thousands of disputes in tribal districts and courts,” he said, adding that the collective responsibility clause of FCR kept people in check but this was no more the case.
Malik Khalid Jan, Malik Doran Khel and Malik Syed Kabir also shared his opinion for recognition of their services.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2021.