As members of ‘Citizens Against Weapons’, we are deeply concerned at the newspaper reports about the signing of a ‘Letter of Understanding’ between Pakistan Ordinance Factories (POF) and the Italian company Beretta for sale of Italian guns and pistols in Pakistan. Already inundated with some 20 million uncontrolled weapons, causing crime, violence, militancy and havoc, the news of fresh import and sale of weapons is no less than a bombshell.
Has Pakistan, despite its life threatening violence and militancy not been able to understand the link between militancy and weapons? If the POF is mandated to manufacture weapons for the use of armed forces, how come it has assumed the role of a sales agent to promote foreign weapon-manufacturing corporates? Is the government in the business of controlling and rounding up the existing weapons or is it actively patronizing further proliferation?
We request that the POF should focus on its original mandate, which it has been performing so well over the years and not become a sales agent. We also demand that the Interior Ministry should take back its decision to lift the ban on issuance of prohibited and non-prohibited bore weapons. Will the government please explain the huge gap between what it says and what it does on its war against terrorism. Sadly one gets a feeling as if we are dictated and controlled by the National Rifles Association (NRA) of USA.