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KP Govt To Act Against Bajaur Jirga That Banned Women From Making Calls To Radio Stations

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A jirga in Mamond tehsil’s Warah area has been given a warning by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government for its decision to bar women from collecting cash stipends and making telephone calls to the local FM radio stations.

The government warned that it will take severe action against the Bajour tribesmen if the decision is not revoked.

The jigra on Friday had decided that women can’t collect money from the centres set up by the World Bank under a cash grant scheme and making phone calls to the local FM stations. They say that these practices are against their customs and if women do not adhere to these new rules, they would be punished.

Because there is no jurisdiction against holding jigras, the provincial government has directed the divisional commissioner and deputy commissioner of Bajaur tribal district to convince the tribesmen about taking back the decision and if they fail to do, they will be tried under law.

“There is no justification left for holding jirgas to decide matters after the tribal region’s merger with the province. Only the district administration is empowered to take decisions at tehsil and district levels and jirgas have no legality,” said spokesman for the provincial government Kamran Khan Bangash.

Under the directives of the jigra women can’t collect money from the Child Wellness Grant as it is against the customs. They can also call the FM radio over the phone. The penalty for this is fine of 10,000 on the family who’s woman violated the rule.

The jigra justifies that they tried talking to managers of the child wellness grant to either allow male members to pick up the money or arrange women staff members at centres operated under the Sada-i-Amn programme of the bank. Since no one paid heed to there demands, they’ve ordered the ban on woman.

The provincial government has condemned this and called this move violation of human rights.

“The decision of elders is stupid and unlawful. No one has the right to ban the movement of women in the region after the merger of tribal districts with the province and extension of the country’s regular judicial system in the region,” said Deputy commissioner of Bajaur Fayyaz Khan.

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