Thursday, November 26, 2009

Customs and Traditions Of Parachinar By Ishrat Hussain ish




"I despise the man who does not guide his life by honor

The very word honor drives me mad".

(Khushal Khan Khattak)

The Pukhtoon social structure, which has attracted the attention of many a scholar is mainly governed by conventions and traditions and a code of honor known as "Pukhtoonwali". This un-written code is the keystone of the arch of the Pukhtoons' social fabric. It exercises a great influence on their actions and has been held sacrosanct by them generation after generation. The Pukhtoonwali or the Pukhtoon code of honor embraces all the activities from the cradle to the grave. It imposes upon the members of the Pukhtoon society four chief obligations. Firstly Nanawatey or repentance over past hostility or inimical attitude and grant of asylum, secondly Teega or a truce declared by a Jirga to avoid bloodshed between two rival factions, thirdly Badal or obligation to seek revenge by retaliation and fourthly Melmastiya or an open hearted hospitality which is one of the most sublime and noble features of Pukhtoon character. In a broad sense hospitality, magnanimity, chivalry, honesty, uprightness, patriotism, love and devotion for the country are the essential features of Pukhtoonwali.

The history of Pukhtoonwali is as old as the history of the Pukhtoons and every individual of Pukhtoon society is expected to abide by these age old traditions. The non-observance of these customary laws is considered disgraceful and may lead to expulsion of an individual or even a whole family. Pukhtoonwali, Pukhto and Pukhtoon have become almost synonymous terms.

NANAWATEY: Some European writers define Nanawatey as grant of asylum to fugitives or extreme hospitality. An experienced British administrator who served as a Political Officer on the Frontier for a fairly long time describes it "an extension of the idea of Melmastia, (Hospitality) in an extreme form, stepped up to the highest degree". But the grant of asylum or sanctuary is only one aspect of Nanawatey while its exact definition and true spirit seems to have been ignored. As a matter of fact, it is a means to end longstanding disputes and blood feuds and transform enmity into friendship. Under Nanawatey a penitent enemy is forgiven and the feuding factions resume peaceful and friendly relations. Thus it creates a congenial atmosphere for peaceful co-existence and mutual understanding through eventual reconciliation.

When a person feels penitent over his past bellicose postures and hostility and expresses a desire to open a new chapter of friendly relations with his foe and live in peace and amity with him, he approaches the tribal elders, Ulema and religious divines for intercession on his behalf for a settlement. In this regard the Jirga's efforts are always countenanced with favor and the very presence of the suppliant in the enemy's Hujra creates a congenial atmosphere for resumptions of friendly relations. The host, who used to scan the neighborhood in an effort to avenge his insult, exercises patience and kindness and gently pardons his opponent for his past misconduct. This is followed by slaughtering of a buffalo, cow, or a few lambs or goats provided by the suppliant. A feast is held in the Hujra and with it the enmity comes to an end.

The customs relating to Nanawatey are more or less identical throughout the Pukhtoon society. In some parts of the tribal areas, however, there was a custom according to which the suppliant used to go before his enemy with grass in his mouth and a rope round his neck as a mark of humility (this custom no longer exists). Sometimes women bearing the Holy Quran over their heads would approach the enemy's house to plead their family members innocence in any given case. The tribesmen, like Muslims all over the world, have a deep faith in the Holy Quran and they, therefore, regard it as a sacrilegious act to deny the favour asked for through the Holy Book. Besides, the women are held in high esteem by Pukhtoons and therefore, a favor solicited through them is seldom denied. Sometimes a man manages to reach his enemy's hearth and stays there till his request for Nanawatey is acceded to. However, if some obstacles lie in the way of acceptance of a Nanawatey then the suppliant bides his time for an opportune occasion such as occurance of a death in his enemy's family. He hurries to his enemy's village, joins the funeral procession, tries to be one of the pall-bearers and announces his desire for Nanawatey. This evokes a spontaneous feeling of sympathy and the relatives of the deceased readily concede to their erstwhile enemy's desire. It is, however interesting to note that no Nanawatey is accepted in which the honor of the women is involved.

Any one who gains access to a Pukhtoon's house can claim asylum. He is protected by the owner of the house even at the risk of his own life. Under Panah which is a subsidiary element of Nanawatey one can take shelter under the roof of a Pukhtoons' house irrespective of caste, creed, status or previous relations. Though it would seem paradoxical yet Pukhtoons on several occasions have provided sanctuary to their deadly enemies. Panah is best illustrated by a story which, according to Mr. Claud Field "is often told on the Frontier". Once a quarrel between a creditor and a debtor resulted in the death of the creditor near his village. The debtor made an un-successful bid to run away, but he was hotly chased by the deceased's relatives. Having failed to escape the assassin approached a village tower and sought refuge in "Allah's Name". The chieftain of the tower, after enquiries from the fugitive realized that he had slain his brother. Instead of avenging his brother's death on the spot, the chieftain calmly said to the fugitive, "you have killed my own brother, but as you have asked for refuge in God's Name, in His name I give it." He was forthwith admitted to the tower and the pursuers sternly forbidden to approach. When they departed, the chieftain gave the refugee an hour's grace to leave the premises and be gone. The refugee made good use of the grace period and escaped death on that occasion, at least.

Another example of asylum, as recorded in books, is that of an old Pukhtoon woman. It is said that once a gang of dacoits raided a village. The villagers, including the two sons of an old woman, came out to challenge the dacoits. Soon a fierce fight ensued between the two parties in which besides others both the sons of the old woman were also killed. The dacoits having found all escape-routes blocked, sought shelter in the house of the old woman. The pursuers, who were close on their heels, felt delighted that the dacoits were now in their grip. But on approaching the old woman's house, they were deeply annoyed to find their way barred by her. Displaying traditional Pukhtoon courage she determinedly said that she would not allow any one to lay hands on them. "You don't know" the pursuers angrily said, "they have killed your two sons". "That may be so", she calmly replied, "but they have come Nanawatey to my house and I cannot see anyone laying his hands on them so long as they are under my roof".

The obligation of asylum frequently brought the Pukhtoons into conflict with the British during their one hundred years' rule on the Frontier. The government, under various treaties and agreements entered into by the tribesmen with the British and under the principle of territorial responsibility, often insisted that tribesmen should refrain from harbouring outlaws, but the Pukhtoons considering it as an act against the canons of Pukhtoonwali, often refused to oblige the authorities in spite of threats of reprisals and severe punishment. The tribesmen's obduracy in this connection, on many occasions, led to despatch of military expeditions and economic blockades by the British. They braved all sufferings, bore the brunt of the enemy's attack and suffered losses both in men and material but gallantly refused to hand over the guest outlaws. "In common with all Afghans", writes Claud Field, "the Pukhtooni exercise a rough hospitality and offer an asylum to any fugitive endeavoring to escape from an avenger, or from the pursuit of justice and they would undergo any punishment or suffer any injuries rather then deliver up their guest". The denial of protection, says Sir Olaf Caroe, "is impossible for one who would observe Pukhto, it cannot be refused even to an enemy who makes an approach according to Nanawatey."

KANRREY OR TEEGA: Kanrrey or Teega is another custom among the Pukhtoons, which stands for cessation of blood-shed between contending parties. Teega (lit. putting down of a stone) in other words means a temporary truce declared by a Jirga. The word stone is used figuratively as actually no stone is put at the time of the cessation of hostilities. Once the truce is enforced, no party dares violate it for fear of punitive measures.

When hostilities break out between two rival factions and firing starts from house tops and surrounding hills, a tribal Jirga intervenes to restore peace and prevent blood-shed. In case of firing, there is no security of life and property and death hangs over the feuding factions like the sword of Democles. The Jirga, consisting of local tribal elders and religious divines, declares a Teega after full deliberations and in consultations with the parties concerned and declares a truce for a specified period on pain of a Nagha or fine. Nagha is paid by the party which violates the truce. The objective underlying Teega is to restore normal conditions by holding the feelings of enmity in abeyance, cooling down tempers and providing an opportunity to the two sides to settle their dispute amicably through tribal elders on the principles of justice and fair-play. The parties generally, strictly adhere to the terms of the truce. Any one of the contending parties which commits a breach of the truce is punished with a heavy fine.

If the party guilty of violating the truce declines to pay the prescribed amount of fine, the Jirga proceeds to recover it forcibly. This may be in the form of burning of the houses of the rebel group, its expulsion from the locality or banishment from the tribe. This task is accomplished with the help of a tribal lashkar, composed of armed tribesmen. No one can, therefore, violate the truce because of such stringent action. Here the Jirga's action resembles U.N. General Assembly's action against any rebel government. The General Assembly applies economic sanctions against a defiant government, which may be in-effective because the General Assembly has no authority to enforce it or compel member countries to abide by its decision, but orders of a Jirga cannot be ignored or side-tracked in any form or manner.


To my mind death is better than life

when life can no longer be held with honor:

(Khushal Khan Khattak)

Self-respect and sensitivity to insult is another essential trait of Pukhtoon character. The poorest among them has his own sense of dignity and honor and he vehemently refuses to submit to any insult. In fact every Pukhtoon considers himself equal if not better than his fellow tribesmen and an insult is, therefore, taken as scurrilous reflection on his character. An insult is sure to evoke insult and murder is likely to lead to a murder.

Badal (retaliation) and blood feuds generally emanate from intrigue with women, murder of one of the family members or their hamsayas, violation of Badragga, slight personal injury or insult or damage to property. Any insult is generally resented and retaliation is exacted in such cases.

A Pukhtoon believes and acts in accordance with the principles of Islamic Law i.e. an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and blood for blood. He wipes out insult with insult regardless of cost or consequence and vindicates his honor by wiping out disgrace with a suitable action. But the urge for Badal does not mean that he is savage, blood thirsty or devoid of humane qualities. He is kind, affectionate, friendly and magnanimous and forgives any one who kills his relatives by a mistake but he will not allow any intentional murder go un avenged. Proud of his descent, he becomes offensive only when an insult is hurled at him or some injury is done to him deliberately. He goes in search of his enemy, scans the surrounding area and hills, lies in wait for months and years, undergoes all hardships but does not feel content till his efforts of wreaking vengeance on his enemy are crowned with success. Those who fail to fulfill the obligations of Pukhto (self-respect) by wiping out insult with insult, lose their prestige in the eyes of their compatriots, render themselves liable to Paighore (reproach) and earn an unfair name. According to Nang-e-Pakhto or code of honor an un avenged injury is the deepest shame and the honor of the person can be redeemed only by a similar action. It may, however, be noted that "there is little if any random crime or violence" in the tribal areas as the stakes are too high and the retribution too certain to follow.

Many daring stories of Badal or retaliation are recorded by European as well as Asian writers but one such story showing Pukhtoons' strong urge for Badal has been related by Mrs Starr. She writes, "once an old man with a white beard and hair and eyes filmy with cataract came into the out patient hall, and when his turn came to see the doctor, he said "I am old but give me sight that I may use a gun again. `To the doctors' query he replied in quite a placid and natural manner: `I have not taken the exchange (revenge) for my sons' death sixteen years ago."

Another famous story of revenge, as told by T.C. Pennell, is that a Pathan girl who approached a court of law for justice but the judge expressed his inability to prosecute the offender for his imputed crime due to lack of ample evidence. This enraged the girl and she said in fit of anger, "Very well, I must find my own way". She went in search of the murderer of her brother "who had escaped the justice of the law but not the hand of the avenger". She "concealed a revolver on her person and coming up to her enemy in the crowded bazar, shot him point blank".

Sometimes a Pukhtoon becomes so sentimental that he vows not to take a meal with his right hand and sleep on ground instead of a charpaee (bedstead) until he has avenged the wrong done to him. Pukhtoon history is replete with many examples of Badal and there are instances where a child born a few months even after the murder of his father has, wreaked vengeance on his enemy after patiently waiting for many years.

The obligation of Badal rests with the aggrieved party and it can be discharged only by action against the aggressor or his family. In most cases the aggressor is paid in the same coin. If no opportunity presents itself "he may defer his revenge for years, but it is disgraceful to neglect or abandon it entirely, and it is incumbent on his relations, and sometimes on his tribe, to assist him in his retaliation". When a Pukhtoon discovers that his dishonour is generally known, he prefers to die an honourable death rather than live a life of disgrace. He exercises the right of retribution with scant regard for hanging and transportation and only feels contented after avenging the insult. Badal resulted in blood feuds and vendetta in the past, but now due to the prevalent peaceful conditions in the tribal area and with the spread of education, the incidence of Badal are few and far between.

MELMASTIYA (Hospitality)

"It goes waste if you feed yourself alone;

It gives satisfaction to have your meal in company"

(Khushal Khan Khattak)

Pukhtoon have been described as one of the most hospitable peoples of the world. They consider Melmastiya or generous hospitality as one of the finest virtues and greet their guest warmly with a broad smile on their faces. A Pukhtoon feels delighted to receive a guest regardless of his past relations or acquaintance and prepares a delicious meal for him. "Each house," says Mirza Agha Abbas of Shiraz, "subscribes a vessel of water for the mosque and for strangers". Dilating on the subject Mr. L. White King says that "Pathans regard dispensing of hospitality as a sacred duty, and supply their guests with food according to their means". Guests are usually entertained in a Hujra (village meeting place), where guests are entertained and routine meetings of the elders are held. Each village contains at least, one Hujra. The host kills a fowl if he cannot afford to slaughter a lamb or goat and prepares a sweet dish (Halwa) to satisfy his sense of hospitality. Guests are not only looked after but also respected. "A rich chief", says T.L. Penall, "will be satisfied with nothing less than the slaying of the sheep when he receives a guest of distinction. A poorer man will be satisfied with the slaying of a fowl".

Pukhtoons feel happy over the coming of the guests and greet them with traditional slogans, "Har Kala Rasha" and "Pa Khair Raghley" and "Starrey Mashey" i.e. may you often come, welcome and may you not be tired. He also exchanges such courtesies with the guest as "Jorr Yai" (are you well) "Kha Jorr Yai" (are you quite well) and "Takrra Yai" (are you hale and hearty). The guest gratefully acknowledging these forms of welcome by saying "Pa Khair Ossey", (may you be safe) "Khudai de mal sha" (May God be with you) "Khushal Ossey" (may you be prosperous and happy) and "Ma Khwaraigey" (may you not be destitute). This way of greeting full of friendly gestures reflects the warmth with which the guests are received. The arrival of the guest in Hujra is immediately followed by tea and later the guest is served with a rich meal consisting of Halwa (a special sweet dish), Pullao (rice dish) and other seasonal dishes. When the guest sets off on his journey he is bade farewell in these words "Pa Makha De Kha" (may your journey be safe and happy).

The guest of an individual is considered as the guest of all and he is jointly entertained by the villagers in the Hujra. A variety of dishes are prepared and the elders of the family lunch or dine with the guest on a common piece of cloth (Dastarkhwan) spread over a carpet, drugget or a mazri mat. It is one of the cardinal principles of Pukhtoon's hospitality to request the guest to sup or take a few morsels with the village folk even though the guest may have had his meals but the etiquette enjoins upon the guest to oblige his hosts by taking a few more morsels. After they have partaken of a meal the company prays to Allah to give the host riches and prosperity and power of entertaining more guests.

Giving a vivid description of Pukhtoon hospitality, Sir Olaf Caroe writes "The giving of hospitality to the guest is a national point of honor, so much so that the reproach to an inhospitable man is that he is devoid of Pakhto, a creature of contempt. It is the greatest of affronts to a Pathan to carry off his guest, and his indignation will be directed not against the guest who quits him but to the person who prevails on him to leave. This, or something like it, was the reception accorded to the outlaws from British justice who fled to the hills."

Another example of Pukhtoon hospitality is recorded by Dr. Pennel who served in Bannu and the adjoining tribal areas as a missionary doctor for a number of years. He writes "on one occasion I came to a village with my companion rather late in the evening. The chief himself was away but his son received me with every mark of respect and killed a fowl and cooked a savoury Pullao". He adds, "Late at night when the Khan returned and found on enquiry that the Bannu Padre Sahib was his guest, he asked if he had been suitably entertained. To his dismay he heard that only a chicken had been prepared for dinner. Immediately, therefore, he ordered a sheep to be killed and cooked, so that his honor might be saved." To their minds, Says another English writer, "hospitality is the finest of virtues. Any person who can make his way into their dwellings will not only be safe, but will be kindly received."


TOR: As has been suggested earlier that Pukhtoons are sensitive about the honor of their women folk and slight molestation of the women is considered a serious and an intolerable offence. The cases of adultery and illicit relations are put down with iron hand in and no quarter is given to culprits either male or female. Casting of an evil eye on woman is tantamount to imperil one's life. Both sexes, therefore, scrupulously avoid indulgence in immoral practices.

If a Pukhtoon discovers that a particular person is carrying a liaison with any female of his house, then he neither spares the life of the female nor that of her seducer. This is called Tor in Pashto (literally meaning black but used for public disgrace and defamation) or stigmatization of both male and female who are found guilty of illicit amour on sufficient evidence. Both the man and woman are put to death according to the customary law and this type of notoriety, abuse and slander is wiped out with the blood of the culprit. Besides adultery, death penalty is also prescribed for elopement which also falls under the purview of Tor. In cases of Tor murder is not accounted for and the woman relatives are justified by the tribal law to kill their female relation as well as her paramour. In case any of the persons guilty of adultery succeeds in absconding, the heirs of the female have every right to kill him/her whenever and wherever an opportunity presents itself. Otherwise the matter remains Paighor (reproach).

Tor has two aspects. If a woman is criminally assaulted and raped by force by a man with whom she had no previous illicit relations, then the woman is spared because of her innocence and the guilty man alone is put to death. According to the tribal custom, the accused is handed over to her parents, or her husband, if she is married. If the culprit's family refuses to hand him over to the Jirga or the relatives of the violated woman, then the adulterer's family is forced to abandon their village and seek refuge outside tribal limits. In such cases the relatives of the woman have a right to wipe out the insult by killing the accused himself or his brother or father. Not only the husbands but even brothers consider themselves bound to wipe out the insult.

The second aspect of Tor is that if the infidelity of a woman or the alleged involvement of adultery of both male and female is proved, then both are put to death. It is because of such deterrent punishment and ignominious death that both the sexes dare not indulge in fornication.

GUNDI: Gundi is a classic case of balance of power in tribal areas. It is derived from Pashto word Gund, meaning a political party but it is used for an alliance. As modern states enter into bilateral agreements for promotion of trade, cultivation of friendly relations and mutual defence, similarly various sections of a tribe align themselves in blocs or Gundis to safeguard their common interests. Gundi is entered into defeat the aggressive and nefarious designs of a hostile neighbour. In tribal fighting the Gundi members espouse their mutual interests against their common enemy and act as a corporate body with all the resources at their command.

The history of the Pukhtoons provide many instances of long blood feuds spreading over several years. To quote an example, a quarrel of a few blacksmiths split up the Zarghun Khel section of the Adam Khel tribe into two warring factions in 1922 and the hostilities continued for over five years in which the tribesmen of different villages arrayed themselves on one or the other side. The member of a Gundi maintain constant liaison with each other, exchange views on matters of common interest and hold mutual consultations to meet critical situations. They invite each other on festive occasions, help each other in the hour of need and share each other's joys and sorrows.

LOKHAY WARKAWAL: Lokhay Warkawal literally means `giving of a pot' but it implies the protection of an individual or a tribe. Lokhay is generally given by a weaker tribe to a stronger one with the object of ensuring its safety and security. It is accepted in the form of a sacrificial animal such as a goat or a sheep. When a tribe accepts a Lokhay from another tribe, it undertakes the responsibility of safeguarding the latter's interests against its enemies and protects it at all costs. The custom of Lokhay is common among the Afridi tribes of Khyber Agency and Orakzai tribes of Tirah.

LAKHKAR: Lakhkar (widely known as Lashkar) is an armed party which goes out from a village or tribe for warlike purposes. The Lakhkar may consist of a hundred to several thousand men. The Lakhkar assembled for Jehad (Holy War) is usually very large. The decisions of a Jirga, if violated by a party, are enforced through a tribal Lakhkar. The Lakhkar thus performs the functions of police in the event of a breach of tribal law.

CHIGHA: Chigha means a pursuit party. The Chigha party is formed or taken out in case a village is raided by armed bandits with the object of lifting cattle, looting property or abducting an inmate of the village. Composed of armed persons, the Chigha party goes in pursuit of the raiders to effect the release of the cattle etc or recover the stolen property.

TARR: A mutual accord between two tribes or villagers themselves with regard to a certain matter is called Tarr. For instance, after sowing wheat or any other crop, the people of the village agree not to let loose their cattle to graze in the fields and thus damage the crop. The man whose cattle are found grazing in the fields in violation of this agreement has no right to claim compensation for an injury caused to his cattle by the owner of the field.

MLA TARR: Mla Tarr, which literally means `girding up of loins' denotes two things. Firstly it is used for all such members of a family who are capable of carrying and using firearms. If for instance, some one says that "A" has a Mla Tarr of ten men, it would mean that "A" can furnish an armed party of ten men usually consisting of his sons grandsons or close relatives. Secondly, it means espousing the cause of a man against his enemies and providing him with an armed party. The tribesmen resort to Mla Tarr when a person belonging to their village or tribe is attacked, mal-treated or disgraced by their enemies.

BADRAGGA: An armed party escorting a fugitive or a visitor to his destination, is called Badragga. Badragga is a guarantee for the safety of a man who is either hotly pursued by his enemies or there is an apprehension of his being killed on his way home. An armed party accompanies such a man as Badragga or `escort' to ensure his safe return to the place of his abode. Badragga is never attacked by the second party because of fear of reprisals and the blood feud that is sure to follow if an attack is made on it. The Badragga convoy can be depended upon only within its own geographical limits; beyond it, the people of other tribes take the charge to convoy the traveller.

BADNARR: Badnarr which means the imposition of a ban closely resembles Tarr both in spirit and essence. The only difference between the two is that the scope of Tarr is vast and it includes any matter unanimously agreed upon whereas Badnarr is specifically used for a ban on cutting wood from hills. Anyone violating Badnarr renders himself liable to the payment of a specific amount of fine. Tribesmen immediately approach him for extraction of fine and he is obliged by this tribal custom to pay Nagha (fine).

BILGA: The word Bilga is used for stolen property. According to tribal custom, a man is held responsible for a dacoity, theft or burglary if any of the stolen articles are recovered from his house. In such a case he is obliged to make good the loss sustained by the afflicted person. He, however, stands absolved of Bilga if he discloses the source or the persons from whom he had purchased the stolen articles.

BOTA: Bota means carrying away. It is a sort of retaliatory action against an aggressor. For instance, if a creditor fails to recover his debt from the debtor, he resorts to Bota by seizing his cattle or one of his kith and kin. The creditor keeps them as hostages till his dues are fully realised or the debtor has furnished a security to make payment within a specified period to the creditor.

BARAMTA: Baramta like Bota is resorted to when the grievances of a party are not redressed or a debtor adopts delaying tactics in respect of payment of a debt to the creditor. The word Baramta is derived from Persian word Baramad which means recovery or restitution of property etc. Under Baramta hostages are held to ransom till the accused returns the claimed property. The Pukhtoons consider it an act against their sense of honour and contrary to the principles of Pukhtoonwali to lay their hands on dependent classes such as blacksmiths, tailors, barbers and butchers etc belonging to the debtor's village.

Bota and Baramta in the tribal areas have often given rise to inter-tribal disputes and blood feuds. The British Government in India often resorted to Baramta in the event of hostilities with the tribesmen. When the Government failed to cow the tribesmen by force, it used to resort to this coercive method by seizing cattle, property, men and women in Baramta wherever they happened to be in settled districts.

BALANDRA OR ASHAR: Balandra or Ashar can be best described as a village aid programme under which a particular task is accomplished on the basis of mutual cooperation and assistance. At the time of sowing or harvesting, the villagers lend a helping hand to the man who seeks their help. They take out their pair of bullocks to plough his fields at sowing time and assist him in reaping his crops at the time of harvest. The man, thus obliged, by the fellow villagers holds a feast in their honor in the evening.

MEERATA: Meerata means complete annihilation of the male members of a family by brutal assassination. This is not a custom but a criminal act. Under Meerata, the stronger member of family used to assassinate their weak but near relatives with the sole object of removing them from the line of inheritance and gaining forcible possession of their lands, houses and other property. This kind of cold blooded murder is seriously viewed by the tribal law and persons responsible for such an in-human and ghastly act cannot escape the wrath of Pukhtoons. The Jirga immediately assembles to take suitable action against the culprits. The penalty is usually in the form of setting on fire their houses and other property and expulsion of the culprits from their area.

SAZ: The word Saz is used for blood money or compensation in lieu of killing. Under the custom of Saz a person who feels penitent after committing a deliberate murder, approaches the deceased's family through a Jirga and offers to make payment of blood money to end enmity between them. All hostilities come to an end between the parties after acceptance of Saz. Sometimes the payment of compensation takes the form of giving a girl in marriage to the aggrieved party. It is also called Swarah which binds together the two parties in blood relations and thus helps in eradicating ill will and feelings of enmity.

ITBAR: Itbar which means trust, or guaranteed assurance or is the arch of society which is governed by un-written laws or conventions. All business including contracts relating to sale and mortgage or disposal of property, is transacted on the basis of trust or Itbar. Such transactions are verbal and are entered into in the presence of the village elders or a few witnesses. The violation of Itbar is considered to be dishonourable act, un-becoming of gentleman and contrary to the norms of Pukhtoonwali.

HAMSAYA: The word Hamsaya in Persian and Urdu stands for a neighbour but in Pashto it applies to a man who abandons his home either due to poverty or blood feud and seeks protection of an elder of another village. In this way the latter becomes his client or vassal. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the protector to save his Hamsaya from insult or injury from any source.

In some cases the Hamsayas till the lands of their protectors and render them help in other vocations. But it has no marked bearing on the Hamsayas' social status and they are treated at par with the other inhabitants of the village. Barbers, cobblers, butchers, blacksmiths, carpenters etc can live as Hamsaya.




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