FATA lawyers reject demand for Shariah law
* Say Shariah has been in existence in various tribal social institutions
* Say demand is conspiracy to divide tribesmen
By Akhtar Amin
PESHAWAR: Lawyers in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) on Tuesday rejected a demand for the implementation of Shariah law in FATA.
“We don’t want Shariah regulations. Shariah has been in existence in various institutions of the tribal society, including the jirga system,” said Abdul Karim Mesud, the president of the FATA Lawyers Forum, and Taj Mahal Afridi, the secretary general of the forum.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Sunday demanded the government introduce Shariah law and the jirga system according to tribal traditions. It also demanded the repeal of the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR), 1901. An Ahmedzai Wazir tribe jirga had decided to oppose any attempt to abolish the FCR in the absence of a pre-arranged alternative legal system, which, according to it, should constitute no less than a system of Shariah law, tribal elder Malik Behram Khan Ahmedzai from South Waziristan told Daily Times on Monday.
Taj Afridi, who is also the secretary general of the FATA Agency Counsellors Alliance, said, “Lawyers don’t demand a state of Talibanisation. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani should take bold steps in repealing the FCR.”
Conspiracy: He said that the replacement of the FCR with Shariah law was a conspiracy to create differences between tribesmen, adding that the lawyers wanted Pakistani laws to be implemented in FATA in accordance with tribal traditions.
The FATA Lawyers Forum president asked tribal elders not to demand the replacement of the FCR with Shariah law as jirgas had been deciding matters in accordance with Shariah law.
Wali Khan Afridi, another FATA lawyer, opposed the demand for the replacement of the FCR with Shariah law, saying tribesmen did not want Malakand Division-like Shariah Regulations in FATA.
Wali demanded the government implement the proposed amendments made by the FCR Reforms Committee 2006 headed by Justice (r) Mian Muhammad Ajmal. He also demanded a separate high court for FATA.