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Arms licences to be computerised by Dec 31

Arms licences to be computerised by Dec 31

ISLAMABAD: The government decided on Monday that manual arms licences would stand ‘invalid’ if they were not computerised by Dec 31.

A meeting presided over by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also decided to impose a ban on import of weapons and diminish the use of prohibited guns and bulletproof vehicles.

These measures will be part of the new arms policy which is being devised by the interior ministry.

Also read: 50pc of arms licences fake, assembly told

Initially, a total of 400,000 manual arms licences issued by the interior ministry will be replaced by the computerised licences and they will be issued after thorough scrutiny. In the next step, arms licences in all the provinces will be computerised.

Punjab and Sindh have already started computerisation of arms licences with the help of the National Database and Registration Authority.

“The meeting decided that all manual arms licences would stand cancelled if not validated till Dec 31, 2015,” a spokesman for the interior ministry told the media after the meeting.

He said the meeting discussed the new arms policy which was being prepared by the interior ministry in order to bring transparency, uniformity and institutionalism to the system.

The interior minister observed at the meeting that various laws had been grossly misused in the past and privileges granted in bulk without any check and balance.

He was quoted as saying: “Private guards, prohibited guns and bullet-proof vehicles have not only become a fashion and a status symbol but it also created serious security implications.”

The meeting decided that nobody under the age of 25 years should be issued an arms licence.

“Equally important is to bring standardisation of policy of the federal government and provinces for the issuance of arms licences,” the minister said.

Giving details about the decision of the cancellation of all manual arms licences issued by the interior ministry, the minister said in the first instance all licences issued from 1973 till June 2013 would be computerised through Nadra. The cut-off date for the validation has been fixed for Dec 31, 2015.

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2015

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