SOC101 Introduction to Sociology GDB 2 Solution Fall 2012

Current Punchayat system in Pakistan is the extension of old caste system, at the same time it is serving as a breeding ground for our political system. Comment on this statement with reference to the existing congenital political system of Punjab province.

A Panchayat is a local government in Pakistan. Panchayats are headed by a Sarpanch who is elected by the council. The word Panchayat literally means governance by a council of five when translated into English. They are divided up to districts comprising anywhere between 200 and 600 villages. The Panchayat is often associated with a grass roots style of democracy as even people from the lowest part of the economic spectrum still have a say in who represents them.

Definition of Jirga
1. A Pashto term for a decision making assembly of male elders; most criminal cases are handled by a tribal
Jirga rather than by state laws or police.
2. A Jirga (occasionally jirgah) (Urdu: ہﮔﺮﺟ ) is a tribal assembly of elders which takes decisions by
consensus, particularly among these Pashtuns but also in other ethnic groups near them; they are most
common among the Pashtuns in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
3. Loya Jirga – a grand council or grand assembly used to resolve political conflicts or other national
problems. (Example: Recent Pak Afghan Jirga)
The word Panchayat mostly used in South Punjab, Pakistan and in India.
The word Jirga is used in Afghanistan and Pushtun areas in NWFP.
In Pakistan, both words are used depending upon the area.
Functions of Panchayat and its types
Traditionally, Panchayats are used to settle disputes between individuals and between villages. Modern
Panchayats also address key social issues by manipulating and using unchallenged power of elders and
chieftains. Indian government has decentralised several administrative functions to the village level,
empowering elected Panchayats at three levels or tiers. However, in Pakistan panchayats are not working in
many rural areas/villages. Police stations or Thanas are now active components of state machinery to
provide justice to people.
The poor in our rural areas remain shy to get justice from the present Thana culture of police.
Types of Panchayats:
(1) Village panchyats (members of panchayats fromm same village);
(2) Inter-village panchayats (between villages, rare but discuss issue of serious nature like inter-village
(3) Biradari Panchayats (between Biradries)