The interim regulations to govern the formerly Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) until its full merger with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) province were on Wednesday challenged in the Peshawar High Court (PHC). Advocate Ali Azam Afridi submitted in his petition that allowing commissioners to act as judges; authorising the council of elders to decide civil and criminal matters, and constituting a Qaumi Jirga would be gross violations of the fundamental rights of the Pakistani citizens living in the area. He said these provisions would jeopardise the independence of judiciary, and its separation from the executive, a cardinal principle laid out in the Constitution.“The law does not permit an individual to arrogate unto himself the roles of a complainant, prosecutor, judge and executioner,” the petitioner contended. Noting that the duty of judiciary was to interpret the law in view of the Constitution, Afridi noted that that anything in conflict with the command of law should be prohibited. He said, “it was a cardinal principle of law and justice that what cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly.” Following recent amendments, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court, and provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1898 pertaining to security and the provision of bonds have been extended to the tribal regions. Published in Daily Times, June 14th 2018.