Resolving of 433 Major and Minor Disputes at the Level of Country

Based on the studies and interviews have been conducted by Killid with tribal elders, people and officials in the provinces of Kabul, Nimroze, Helmand, Uruzgan, Zabul, Kandahar, Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kapisa, Kunduz, Jawzjan and Balkh, also personal disputes and hostilities have been taking cost among the people across the country.

Ahmadzia Entizar, Islamuddin and Hajar
2 Oct 2023
Resolving of 433 Major and Minor Disputes at the Level of Country

The findings of this research also show that more than 600 people were killed and hundreds of others were injured as a result of personal disputes and hostilities.

Meantime, 20-120 years lasted some disputes have been solved by local Jirgas (Councils), Religious Scholars’ Councils and Islamic Emirate.

Other Adverse Effects of Dispute

Conflicts, in addition have received human casualties and financial losses to the people, have also caused migrations, deprivation of children and women from education, and homelessness of families.

On the other hand, individuals and families who have suffered from long conflicts say that the continuation of conflicts is not in the interest of any party.

Haji Lal, a resident of Tani district of Khost province, who has become a victim of hostility over land ownership and has lost two members of his family, says that fifty years back, when he was young, he became an enemy and spent his entire life in the prison of house.

“This enmity arose during Dawood Khan’s reign. After that, we didn’t sleep well. We couldn’t leave the house. Whatever changes came, even if rockets and bombs were launched, we were at home.”

Haji Lal’s brother Kamal Khan says that because of this hostility, 35 members of his family have been deprived of education.

“I was eight years old when this hostility remained for us. There is no pleasure in hostility, nor does anyone’s stomach get full. Because of hostility, no one in our family studied, we could not go out of the house to go to school, we were all afraid.”

Migration and fleeing from the country are other consequences that the victims of local conflicts and their families have experienced.

Haji Shir Ahmad, a resident of Delaram district of Nimroz province, who has spent many years of his life in Iran due to personal hostility, happily says that he has returned to the country and ended their hostility by the help of the tribal Jirga with the opposite party.

“We made a mistake; we must forgive each other.”

On the other hand, during the solar year, the people of Nuristan witnessed the return of a number of families of Keshtuz tribe, who returned to Kamdish district of this province after 26 years of fleeing from hostilities.

These families, who have returned to their homes after two and a half decades, have complained about the bad effects of these conflicts and say that now, they have no place to live and no place for their children to study.

Karimullah, one of the elders of Keshtuz tribe said that hostility and enmity has destroyed everything they had.

“After many years, we returned to our homeland due to the attempts of tribal elders. Our houses have been destroyed, now we live in tents and our children are facing many problems.”

Noor Mohammad, elder of the tribe, has complained about the lack of schools and says that all of the troubles and deprivation of their homeland are because of the conflict.

“Our school does not have a gate and many parts of the building have been destroyed. It is not suitable for learning and teaching.”

What are the factors of conflict?

The evidence has indicated that inappropriate distributions of lands, forests, mountains, pastures, water, arguments, illegal carrying of weapons in rural areas and low level of literacy are the main causes of conflicts floating among people.

Said Karim, one of the elders of the tribe in the south of the country, says that most of the hostilities have arisen over the ownership of land, mountains, pastures, forests and other issues such as inappropriate distribution of water among people.

“This social problem should not be inherited to the future generations; we are trying to put an end to these enmities in any possible way.”

Arguments and carrying weapons and illegally maintaining them in homes are other major reasons that have caused conflicts and even long-term hostilities among people in remote areas of the country. neither side of the case takes these points seriously.

Asadullah and Ahmad Shah, residents of Lashkargah city; The center of Helmand Province, who were the victims of the argument conflict, say that at first there was a hard argument between the members of these two families, and then it deteriorated into an armed war; as a result, one of the parties was killed.

According to their statement, this hostility lasted for a year until the matter was resolved by the tribal elders and government officials.

Ahmad Shah, a member of the victim’s family, says that he has forgiven his opposite party.

“I forgave the opposite party for the sake of respect to Jirga and so, this enmity would not be inherited to the future generations, and also for the sake of consent of Allah (SWT).”

In another case in Uruzgan province, in 1990, between the Tarkai and Tokhi tribes, while collecting firewood and bushes from Kurghan Mountain, is located in between Qalat; the center of this province and Arghandab district, after an argument, a fight took place and one person was killed.

According to the information of local sources, this conflict continues until June, 2022, and as a result, it is resolved due to the efforts of local officials, religious elders and religious scholars, and the efforts of the government.

Haji Taj Mohammad, who attempted as a mediator between these two tribes, says: “For years, these people fought against each other and had fight. Both sides are large tribes. We and all Muslims are happy that this enmity was ended.”

The Mechanism and Effects of Jirgas in Dispute Solving  

Tribal Jirgas are one of the most common ways of solving local disputes and problems, which are managed by elders and influential people.

A number of citizens consider the role of these Jirgas very important in preventing the troubles and ending the lasting hostility between the people.

People whose local disputes have been resolved by local Jirgas, want preserving this ancient and old method.

Ahmad, a resident of Nimroze, whose land dispute was solved by the local Jirga, says that since many years, he was trying to solve the case, but he was not succeeded until he reached his right by the local Jirga.

“We had a land dispute, struggling with each other and thought it would not be solved, but luckily, I was able to solve the problem of several years by council.”

Mahmood solved his land dispute by the local Jirga and scholars. He says: “When we presented our dispute to the Council of Scholars, we were discussed Sharia and Islamic reasons, we were satisfied and hatred was kindly removed.”

Experts say regarding the effective role of Tribal Jirgas in solving conflicts and say that these Jirgas are the best options for resolving conflicts at local level.

Abdullah Houshmand, one of social activists, says: “In some cases, hostilities have been more intense and dangerous, both the previous and current government refer it to Tribal Jirgas. Therefore, many issues are resolved through Tribal Jirgas.”

Legal issue Experts suggest that justice should be considered in dispute solving by Jirgas and local councils, and resolutions and laws shall be equally applied to everyone. Abdul Shakur Dadres, one of these experts, says: “For a fair disputes solving, the law should be equally applied to parties.”

Hikmatullah Fayaz, a social affairs specialist and university professor, says, solving problems through Tribal Jirga can be more worthy when decisions are based on laws.

“Submitting of disputes to Tribal Jirgas has good results, if a clear and fair procedure is presented to the relevant parties. The right will be given to the rightful owner by this way.”

The Role of Government in Dispute Solving

In addition, officials of the Ministry of Borders and Tribes Affairs accept the unity and solidarity between the tribes and solving their disputes are the major and fundamental responsibilities of this ministry. Alhaj Mullah Noorullah Noori, The Acting Minister of this Ministry, says that the officials of the ministry try to solve all the disputes at the local level in cooperation with the tribal elders and religious scholars.

According to the Acting Minister of Borders and Tribes Affairs, this ministry has solved more than 400 major and minor conflicts that arose over land ownership and other issues through Traditional Jirgas in the light of Islamic principles.

“In cooperation with tribal elders and religious scholars, 133 major and 300 minor disputes were solved in the light of Islamic principles and they returned into friendship by the efforts of Traditional Jirgas, as a result of disputes, 691 people were killed and hundreds of others were injured.”

The Acting Minister of Borders and Tribes Affairs has also announced the end of several year lasting hostilities between tribes in Kapisa, Jawzjan, Nangarhar and Nuristan and adds:

“For instance, we can mention the solving of 23-year-old hostility in Najrab district of Kapisa, 30-year-old animosity in Aqcha of Jozjan, 37-year-old enmity between Shinwari tribes in Nangarhar and 91-year-old hatred in Nuristan.”

In addition to these tribal elders and local councils, a 110-year-old dispute between two families in Ismail Khel of Khost, a 41-year-old dispute in Khas district of Uruzgan between two tribes, in which 30 people were killed from both sides, and a 26-year-old dispute between two tribes have also been resolved in Nuristan.

It is worth mentioning that most of the hostilities between people and families happened in the provinces of the country, after killing and injuring of individuals during these hostilities, the tribal elders try to resolve them or establish a negotiating period between the parties for several years to find a solution.

But in some cases, efforts are unsuccessful and hostilities continue for years and decades; thus, hostilities deprive families from some facilities.

Many citizens hope that the starting of officials’ efforts to solve personal disputes along with Tribal Elders cause reduction of hostilities among the people.

Translated By Muhammad Yousuf “Zakir”

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