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Introduction to Loya Jirga
The genius of Afghanistan’s ancient culture has endowed the Nation with historic and invaluable traditions of social and political importance. Particularly precious and deeply ingrained within the society is the sacred Religion of Islam. The basis for Jirga is the Holy Quran which commands Muslims to Shura (consultation). Jirga is referred to an assembly where tribal leaders and influential bodies gather to decide on issues of special importance concerning the community’s vital national, regional and international interests. The historical roots of Jirga can be traced from the times of the ancient Arians and Kanishka the Great. For the same reason, its historical value and efficiency in solving major societal issues is still a salient factor in the present Afghan political context. Jirga is a reliable and honorable process of decision making within the Afghan societies where after serious discussions – decisions are made by involving all layers of the society. The process of holding Jirgas along the history - to decide on vital issues - has become an efficient mechanism in solving and saving the country from national and international crises.
In retrospect, after the formation of the Interim Government, by holding the Emergency Loya Jirga and the Loya Jirga for the Constitution, the Afghan Interim Government was able to formulate and establish an organizational and structural framework for the new polity of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan that addressed problems inherited from decades of war and conflict. So at the present juncture, yet faced with many other challenges, the Afghan government strongly believes that Jirga still plays a vital and decisive role within the Afghan communities and political sphere.
The Aims of Traditional Loya Jirga:
To bring all Afghan representatives under one umbrella to discuss the ratification of strategic partnership between the United States of America and also to talk about the peace policy and our future way forward on peace talks.
The Need for Traditional Loya Jirga:
Taking into consideration the importance and depth of the aforementioned subjects, the present political context, Afghanistan’s sovereignty, its national interests and the government’s achievements through holding Jirgas in the past ten years, it is vastly understood and recommended that we must involve different layers of the society such as; the elite, tribal leaders, MPs, members of the provincial councils, and scholars.
Convention Time of the Traditional Loya Jirga:
There are not set-times for holding Jirgas, however, holding a Jirga depends on the needs of the society and usually taking into consideration the climate, which is a major issue for people participating from the remote villages of Afghanistan. Also, as it appears from the history of Jirgas in Afghanistan, Jirgas are usually held in summer which is a fair season for traveling from around the country. In deed the Preparation Commission for Traditional Loya Jirga has provided all basic necessities for holding the Jirga, therefore the Commission is determined to hold the Jirga during this year’s autumn.
Place and location:
The Jirga Hall in Kabul polytechnic neighborhood is a location where Emergency Loya Jirga 2002, Loya Jirga on Constitution 2003, Afghan/Pak Joint Peace Jirga 2007 and National Consultative Peace Jirga 2010 were held. However, in order to hold the coming Traditional Loya Jirga in a glorious way, as well as maintain this historical location and have a permanent location for future national gatherings, it was decided to lay the foundation of a permanent Jirga (Convention) Hall in February 2011. Fortunately, due to the hard works of the leadership and Office of Administrative Affairs and Council of Ministers’ staff, the new Hall, that was planed and built in a short period of time, is fully equipped with the modern facilities and is ready to use. The new Jirga Hall is an Afghan masterpiece that is built by Afghan professionals under the instructions from the Ministry of Urban Development, whilst considering making use of domestic industries to the possible extent so that the precious cultural view of our beloved country is represented.
Traditional Loya Jirga Members:
As it appears from the name and traditional value of Jirgas, Jirga is a reliable and honorable process of decision making within the Afghan society where after serious discussions, decisions are made by involving all layers of the society. For the same reason, it is well understood that the success of the Jirga and in order to find the actual will and desire of the people, the process of selecting Jirga members must be well organized and clearly defined, so that the real representatives of the Afghan people could participate in the Jirga.
In this regard the Preparation Commission for Traditional Loya Jirga, in order to ensure a fair and just participation of Afghan representative from all around the country, has endeavored to perform a number of activities. Among these activities, the commission has consolidated specific categories and the number of representatives from each category. Accordingly, after in-depth studies and analyses the Commission has reached to a decision that the number of the Jirga members will reach to 2030 representatives placed in 16 categories.
Now considering the transparency of the Jirga, and in order to have deserving bodies as the real Jirga members, the commission is considering a number of attributes before a Jirga member is selected and admitted to the Jirga. Finally, the Commission, to the very possible extent, has tried to develop and design a clear process of selecting the Jirga members which lets the Commission to implement mandatory attributes in selecting the Jirga members.
Categories of the participants
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