Leadership in Hunza untill 2003.

Pattern of leadership among different organization:


Leadership in its true essence is necessary for the smooth functioning of different institutions and organizations of society. In hunza, the criteria of leadership is purely based on the concept of democracy, whether its political, religious or family organization.
In political organization, on regional level, the selection of leaders is based on democracy. No one can come forcibly and to rule people arbitrarily and irresponsibly. People themselves select their leaders on “local level council” and “village level council” and elect on “district level council” and “union level council”
Same is the case with religious leaders, who is called “Mukhi”in local language. People select three names each for “Mukhi” and “Camedia” (Assistant Mukhi). Then these names are send to their religious leader Prince Karim Agha Khan, who select one of them for any particular area of hunza. Their duration of service is three years.
On family level, male/elder of the family exercise the powers of leadership on family level. But he never enforce his decisions, rather each member of the family is free according to his/her will.
Role of religious institution in hunza community:

Throughout Ismaeli Hunzakuts are dominated by their religion. His highness Prince Karim Agha Khan, the present Ismaeli Imam, is the 49th in line since Hazarat Ali.



On regional level, “ Mukhi” who is the religious leader have no part in political system and activities. But he have only religious and social activities.
Role of kinship influence in leaders selection/election:


Although kinship plays a very important role in the daily life. But we cant say that kinship plays any important role in the political system. Every member of the community who is adult have right of franchise and he/she is master of his/her own will that whom they want to vote.

Indigenous Mechanism of Law and Order:

People of hunza (Upper Gujal) and central hunza based their law and order on indigenous mechanism of social control, due to informal political system such as Oath and Ordeals customs, traditions, jirga etc.



Oath is practice in presents times while ordeal was a part of past. Usually Jirga takes decision in any case (if the case is brought to them). In the light of primitive law they decide. The punishments are usually limited to the cash fines ranges from 500 to 5000 depend on deviation. There is no concept of physical torture as a punishment because according to them, physical torture hurts the self respect of any person and then next time he will commit again the same crime.
Law and Order in Hunza:



Law and order is must for maintaining peace in any society. And for this purpose social control is maintained informally in hunza. They have no formal police, jails, courts (although provided by Govt. of Pakistan), yet they are not present inside the valley and the cases are never brought to them, rather cases are tried to be solved locally.


Types of Crimes:


During my studies, I have observed that there is no existence of as such big crimes, because people are no much advance materially. They are not materliastic and money minded, that they try to snatch the possessing of others. Crimes on small level such as teasing of a girl, theft (which rarely happen) misbehaviour with neighbour or any other community member is generally solved through fines.

Punishments patterns in hunza valley:


Physical punishment is forbidden according to their religion that’s why nature of punishments can only be taking fines.

Processing of Trial:


Gujal Valley has informal process of trial. Oaths and ordeal methods have been used in past but now only oath taking is using.

Locals told about an incident that happened in 1994, when an individual of Pasu was accused to theft the luggage of carvans coming from Kasghar. The issue was put forward to Mir Jamal Khan of Hunza, who was the last Mir.

A day was set for the trial. On the appointed day, Mir of hunza used to wore special cloak. The guilty person was brought and placed a hot axe on his hands for 7-8 times . Then a paper was keep on deviant hand known as CHIPAN, which is obtained from a special tree. But surprisingly he got no burn, which was a proof of his innocence.
Another trial process include whipping, in which Mir of Hunza give punishment by whipping. For this purpose they use rubber stick, obtain from a special tree known as “SHASKAN”. But now adays, the punishment process is more humane, democratic and rational.
Rival groups:

In every society rival groups do exist, who have rivalry and they opposes each other sometimes without any logic.
In hunza valley too,there is existence of such rival groups, but on very small scale. Because hunza is a closed society and people have reciprocal relationships.
Some times there occurs religious, political, and economical disputes, which divide the people into different groups though it happens rarely). For example there use to be feuds in past, on divisions of land etc. Usually the main causes of dispute are due to geographical distribution between Hussani and Ismaeli sect. But now this problem have been settled.
Evidences for Convictions:

In every society whether its simple or complex, has its own criteria of evidences to prove whether the accused person is guilty or not.
In Gujal Valley, there are specific procedures of evidence. When witness are available in the commission of certain crime, the decision making becomes rather easy on the basis of these available evidence.
But in such cases when there is no evidence available, the jirga call the accused to swear before the God that he has not committed the crime, and it is believed that in case of false oath, the person will be victim to the wrath of God
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