Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Civil society to resist imposition of Punchayat system in present form: AWAZ 

17 September 2011 02:32:29

Civil society to resist imposition of Punchayat system in present form: AWAZ

Civil Society will resist if the Punjab government imposed Punchayat system in present form even by putting it under any legal framework as resolved by the Punjab Assembly through adoption of a resolution.

“This system in present form and structure would not be acceptable unless otherwise fully reformed and backed by constitutional and financial support as had been done in India,” said CEO Awaz Foundation Mohammad Ziaur Rahman in his reaction. He said the existing Punchayat system, even without any legal framework, has so far been violating human rights, as guaranteed in Islam and the Constitution.

This system had earned a bad name to the country in Mukhtaran Mai case, cases of Karo Kari and in other cases relating to the vulnerable and marginalized communities in the country, especially women.

The process being adopted by Punchayats used to be short time but this haste often results in injustice and several times created bad blood among the parties. The Punchayat verdicts usually proved biased on the basis of gender and caste, as only the male from influential tribes and families sit in Punchayats and women have never been allowed to perform as member of the Punchayat.

Zia-ur-Rehman said nexus between politicians and feudal to rule people according to their own will played a key role behind adoption of this resolution by the Punjab Assembly. Through these Punchayat, they can secure decisions of their choice whereas they cannot do so in a formal judicial system.

“If at all we want a Punchayat system in place in the country to reduce the burden of courts in local level cases, we need to be very cautious of composition of Punchayat members, system of evidence and funding to run such a system as is done in India, added Zia. He said members of the Punchayat should be selected based on their competence and not political and ethic influences.

In India Punchayat system has a constitutional cover and they get financial resources from local, state and central government as mandated by India’s National Finance Commission.