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A violence promoting notification

https://www.dawn.com/news/1456594

Jan 10, 2019

As members of ‘Citizens Against Weapons’, we are deeply alarmed at the government’s recent SRO (1) / 2018 that removes the ban on issuance of prohibited bore gun licenses, thus enabling our elite to own unlimited number of automatic weapons.

There are some 20 million legal and illegal weapons in the hands of militants, mafias and private individuals in Pakistan.  It is a well-documented fact that gun violence is directly proportional to the prevalence of guns in any country.  USA is a prime example of this sickness.   On the other hand, sensible countries like Australia, Japan and UK, through deweaponisation schemes, have almost completely eliminated gun-violence.

The recent discovery of police, gun dealers and bureaucrats collectively engaged in manufacturing thousands of fake gun licenses may have come as a shock to many.  The industry of fake gun licenses, thriving for decades, has made Pakistan perhaps the largest fraudulent gun license manufacturer in the world.  The latest notification of the government is likely to add fuel to this fire and usher a new era of violence, militancy and tribal culture in Pakistan.

It is time for the government to assume its responsibility to protect the lives of all citizens and to declare that all categories of weapons must lie only in the domain of the state and that no citizen be allowed to possess, carry or display any weapon – licensed or otherwise.

It would be prudent for the government to withdraw its violence promoting SRO (1) / 2018, put an end to issuance of all gun licenses and to declare the existing weapon licenses (largely issued on the basis of favour, status, influence or bribe), as null and void.

Naeem Sadiq

For

Citizens Against Weapons