chapter  13
18 Pages

Jirga: power and traditional conflict resolution in Afghanistan

WithAli Wardak

This chapter focuses on examining the institution of jirga – a traditional mechanism of conflict resolution in Afghanistan. The September 11 attacks, which deeply shocked the world, have had a strong impact on global policy, particularly on the US's policy towards Afghanistan. However, before examining the main techniques and processes involved in the qawmi jirga, it is important to mention that its main constituent elements narkh, marakachian, institutionalised rituals, and prikra - are not fundamentally different from those of maraka. The most well known loya jirga in Afghan history is the one held in 1747 in Kandahar, during which various Afghan tribes selected Ahmed Shah Durrani (Ahmad Shah Baba) as the first king of modern Afghanistan, who laid down the foundation of the modern Afghan state. Loya jirga is only held periodically, in order to decide on important national issues that are central to the social and political order, sovereignty and national unity of Afghanistan.