Loya Jirga

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Loya Jirga is a national council in Afghanistan. Loya means big and Jirga means council. The combination of these two words makes big council. This national council is the biggest society of grandees and national personages in Afghanistan. This council form by president in critical times. People who participate in the Jirga can be elective and appointive. The first Jirga relates to (1747), when Ahmad Shah Baba who established new land by the name of Afghanistan and became the first king of Afghanistan. This Jirga constituted in Sher Surkh Mazar a place in Qandahar province and Mr. Saber Shah Kabuli put a beard of wheat on Ahmad Shah Baba’s head and called him the king of Afghanistan.

A definition for Jirga is any council that celebrates for decision, observation, and advisement about a local or a national affair calls Jirga. Whatever separate Jirga from councils and meetings is its contents, methods of work and its objectives.  The objectives of Jirga are to find solution and to give public decision about a social-political problem. Method of work is easy, usually one person takes responsibility of management and put the main subject for referendum to discuss about and at the end the participators reach in a unit agreement and make a national agreement.

Jirga doesn’t have a definite time or place; it stands on necessity of the society. Participators of Jirga are grandees, national personalities and experienced people. Qualifications of people who can participate in Loya Jirga mentioned on 110 provision of Afghanistan constitution.

Jirga has divided into three categorize:

  1. Local Jirga: This has limited effective area and is the most practical method of traditional management. This Jirga usually manage for issues about drought and solution of local conflicts.
  2. Tribal Jirga:     This Jirga contains one or more tribes and starts for solution of tribe conflicts.
  3. National Jirga (Loya Jirga):    This Jirga contains all of the country and starts in a critical time for an important social-political issue.

Recently, the government of Afghanistan will operate a Loya Jirga in Kabul; this Jirga is about security agreement between Afghanistan government and United State of America. All Afghans people hope that this Jirga will pass successfully and it will bring helpful opportunities for us.

By Muhammad Elias Hatimi

About the author


Kabul University

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