Malik’s botched demand

FORMER Interior Minister Rehman Malik has, for reasons best known to him, launched a propaganda campaign against the genuine and popular move of the Federal Government to ban automatic weapons in the country. He is misusing the platform of Senate Standing Committee on Interior to further his objective and during its meeting on Tuesday as well he threatened to take the issue to the House if the government did not rescind the decision.
Immediately after assuming responsibility as Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi vowed to make elimination of prohibited bore license as one of his priorities. The Government mulled over the idea minutely and after approval of the Federal Cabinet, the Interior Ministry issued a notification suspending all licenses for automatic weapons for prohibited bore. Citizens holding licenses for prohibited bore weapons were asked either to obtain a new license for non-prohibited bore from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) or submit their weapons to the District Commissioner, Magistrate or Political Agent. People had taken a sigh of relief that at least a beginning had been made to address the messy issue of proliferation of weapons in the country, which is one of the main causes of security and law and order problem. Elected representatives have a special responsibility in ensuring protection of life and property of citizens and, therefore, they are supposed to put their weight behind all efforts aimed at eliminating automatic and illegal weapons. The only plausible reason for Mr Malik to oppose the move is that he issued wholesale licenses for automatic weapons during his tenure as Interior Minister and former Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali had publicly expressed concerns over the practices adopted by the PPP Government. We believe that the Government must not entertain any pressure and take the campaign to its logical conclusion as it has much to do with peace and security.

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