JIRGA of the centuries old and time tested institutions of Pakhtun culture is Jirga. It is a unique forum in pakhtuns in which traditionally tribal elders come together to settle affairs of its nation or rely behind a cause. The phrase Jirga means “council” Traditionally and historically his instrument of Jirga has been used effectively by pakhtuns to settle inter-tribal and intertribal disputes as well as other related social issues. If one happens to visit a pakhtun locality, it can see elders of different tribes, wearing turbans, with long heated debates one found busy to settle particular disputes among the tribes or between the local tribesmen.
Jirga covers almost all issues under the sun. The idea of the Jirga is very close to the Islamic injunctions as there is the concept of “Shura” (consultative assembly) in Islam. The concept of Jirga is very democratic where all the concerned parties are given full freedom to express their viewpoints. No one can deprive other from his pint of view. Secondly the element of representation, the hallmark of a democratic setup, is also an important feature of a Jirga. The Jirga is usually held in public places like courtyard of a village, Hujra or in a large hall in an elder’s house. In this unique institution of Pakhtuns, justice is dispensed with keeping in mind the traditional unwritten rules of the game, which are a social binding force to socially accepted norms. These covenants cannot be challenged by any pakhtun. They have a sound and unflinching belief in the social order of pakhtun society. Although social tribal rules enjoy a commanding authority but they also have peculiar flexible element, adopting to the changing environment and needs of the day. The most famous grand Jirga took place in Afghanistan in 1747, when pakhtun tribal chiefs met in the southern city of Qandahar to elect a king. That was Ahmad Shah Durrani, the man who founded the state of Afghanistan. Hamza Baba is a strong believer of this unique institution of Pakhtuns. Time and again he has referred to it in his poetry. He loved the system and wanted to solve all disputes through it. In one of his couplet he says;