QUETTA Dec 28 (TNS): In a bid to tackle the flow of illegal and unregistered arms in the province, Chairman NADRA Usman Y. Mobin and the Home Secretary Balochistan Dr. Akbar Harifal on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for computerized arms licenses in the Balochistan.
Federal Interior Minister Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Home Minister of Balochistan Mr. Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, Director General Projects NADRA Zulfiqar Ali, Director General Quetta and other senior official of provincial government were present on the occasion.
The signing of an MOU is the achievement of major mile stone which is the result of the concerted efforts of the Federal Interior Minister Prof. Ahsan Iqbal and Home Minister of Balochistan Mir Sarfaraz Bugti.
The Government of Pakistan hopes to reap similar successes achieved in Punjab, Sindh and the Federal arms license Projects through computerization of 0.3 million manual licenses in Balochistan.
Similar to the arms license computerization projects that have been implemented across Sindh and Punjab provinces, the move will help to promote a more secure and effective management and monitoring of private arms in the country. According to the MoU, 34 sites shall be established by NADRA across various districts in the Balochistan province, where citizens who have old manual licenses can visit these facilities to firstly validate and then be issued computerized licenses for their weapons through the proper legal channels.
To highlight some past success of the arms license project, since the arms license revalidation campaign ended in December 2015, total 180,000 arms licenses were computerized and revalidated whilst around 8,000 licenses were found to be bogus during the campaign. These figures highlight the fact that the number of privately owned weapons in the country is quite high, and subsequently there is also a high probability that many of these arms are illegally obtained and often do not have the correct documentation or licenses.
Thus it is vital for initiatives such as these to be taken, as there is a need for strict regulation when it comes to the possession of arms in the country given the national security situation, especially in provinces such as Balochistan which has fell victim to numerous terrorist attacks particularly targeting Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs).