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Pashto Culture

Culture is the historically determined level of social and human development. Being common to all mankind on the one hand, culture is a class phenomena, on the other hand socio-economic changes result in the formation of new types of cultures.

The Institutional Arrangement Hujra Hujra can be called a learning institute where Pukhtoons sit and decide about their political, economic and social problems and make decisions. This is a democratic institution. Every one had the right to speak in the above matters, but the decision is taken by the wise members of the "Jirga". Each Pukhtoon male is supposed to visit Hujra for having immediately available information about the village, the inhabitants of the village and about the other regions. Pukhtoons discuss various important issues, express their views, give suggestions to the Jirga members and then a consensus decision is taken after a through deliberation in the best interest of the community. Jirga is one of the important institution of Pukhtoon culture, it includes wise men with a lot of experience in deciding matters of social, economic and political matters.

This was the then Jirga decision, headed by Qias Abdul Rashid, who headed for Madina, met with the Prophet of Islam, and on return, advised all the Pukhtoon community to embrace Islam as it has the same code of life which the Pukhtoons have. This is why all the Pukhtoons living anywhere in the world are Muslims by birth.

The assembly or Jirga by which most community business both public and private, is settled in the NWFP as well as in the province of Balochistan, is probably the closest approach to Athenian democracy that has existed since the original. Jirga is typical of the Pathan society. Jirga regulates life at all levels requiring community attention within Tribal society. It also provides a mechanism by which the decisions or opinions of the tribe are communicated to Government and government's decisions are passed on to the tribes.

Pukhtoonwali is interpreted by jirga's frequently on the advice of particular families who are hereditary preservers of local customs. Throughout the tribal areas death is the penalty for murder, except in the case of a blood feud when the relations between the families involved and kind of provocation is taken in to account. In either case if the deceased relatives agree before a Jirga, blood money may be paid in lieu of execution of murderer, and obligations of "badal" (revenge) are deemed settled. If victim was a relative of the murderer, death by the sword is prescribed. Refusal to go to battle at the call of tribe is punished by "Jirga" , a fine, confiscation of property, and burning of house. Adultery is punished by death of both parties, the woman first. The wise men experienced persons, whose honesty, devotion, dedication is above question for upholding Pukhtoonwali in true spirit could be the member of the Jirga. Their every decision demonstrate their love and affection for Pukhtoonwali. Decisions, which the Jirga make, will have to be accepted by all and the violator is subject to punishment.

Internal or inter-tribal matters are decided on a basis of age-old conventions, customs and traditions of tribesmen. They are saved from unnecessary expenditure on litigation and waste of time. On other hand they are associated with administration and allowed to maintain law and order in area.


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