Arms Licences Ban to be lifted: Interior Ministry

Arms Licences Ban to be lifted: Interior Ministry

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Government has taken an important step towards the issuance of the arms licences in the country.

The government has decided to lift more than three-year-old ban on the issuance of prohibited and non-prohibited arms licences. It has been decided that arms licences will be issued on a priority basis to media houses, education institutions, parliamentarians, judges and armed forces personnel under a phase-wise plan.

However, it has not been announced officially that when exactly the ban will be lifted.

The decision was taken at a high-level security meeting presided over by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday. The meeting was attended by senior officers of the ministry, Nadra, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), local administration of Islamabad and Capital Police and Islamabad Traffic Police.

The government has also desired for uniformity in the issuance of arms and driving licences by it and provincial governments and decided that a centralised monitoring system will be evolved under which record of all arms licences to be issued by federal and provincial authorities will be maintained by the National Database & Registration Authority (Nadra).

The government had banned issuance of arms licences in June 2013 in a bid to invalidate illegally issued licences. The holders of arms licenses had been asked to get them verified by Nadra.

A proposal for lifting the ban had been floated last year but it could not materialise.

It has been learnt that arms licences will be issued to media houses, judges and private educational institutions in the first phase and to Pakistan Army officers and soldiers and civil servants in the second phase.

General public will get arms licences in the third phase as per the interior ministry’s policy.

Government and non-government organisations will have to send their requests for arms licences through home departments. The tax number will be compulsory for requests for the prohibited bore licences.