THE ROLE OF JIRGA IN DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN DISTRICT MARDAN, KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA, PAKISTAN
Jirga is an informal but exclusive institution existing in Pashtun society. Jirga is commonly used for settling the disputes related to both the private and the public space. It is preferred over the formal courts, as jirga is considered to be more effective and quicker dispute resolving body. The main intention for the research was to investigate the position of jirga in conflict resolution. The conceptual framework based on jirga considering it as a speedy process of decision making and a body of social integration, was independent variable while dependent variable was effectiveness of jirga as a dispute resolution body. The data wascollected by scheduled interviews, from five villages- LundKhwar, Gul Maira, Mote Banda, ShahDend and Sadat baba. These villages were purposively selected from district Mardan. The sample size was 357 households, selected through stratified random sampling on the analogy design by the Sekaran (2003). The findings of the research indicatethat Jirga is an effective body in delivering justice. It also provides the time to both the plaintiffs to present their case. The decision made by Jirga is based on sharia or the local customs. Factors, like social or financial status or the political power of any of the plaintiff, do not affect the verdicts made by the Jirga and is respected by the parties. Jirga is known as the executive legislative body in Pashtun Society. It is effective way to attain cheap and speedy justice as compared to formal courts. Moreover, Jirga maintains social integration and social order, restore harmony and peace in the society. Though sometimes Jirga violates human rights, Violation of human rights by Jirga, like practice of Swara, expulsion of offender should be replaced by the forfeits. Presence of the legal expert as member of Jirga committee should be mandatory.