LAHORE Justice Mansoor Ali Shah of the Lahore High Court on Friday issued notice to the Federal Government on a petition which has challenged the Interior Ministry direction for surrendering the arms licenses to Nadra. On various petitions moved by holders of the licensed firearms, the court has directed the Deputy Attorney General to appear on October 5 and respond to the contentions raised through the same. For the petitioners, Barrister Ali Zafar argued that the process for issuance of arms licenses, ownership of the firearms, their sale and purchase and exchange as well as issuance of ammunition all have been prescribed under Pakistan Arms Ordinance 1965 and Arms Rules of 1924. Mr Ali said that only way to amend the said rules to bring the same in line government scheme of computerization of the licenses, is through the gazetted notification which has not been pursued by the government. The government, he contended, has instead, issued directions in the form of publications in the newspapers requiring all the arms license holders, who were issued licences prior to January 1, 2011, to surrender their arms licenses to Nadra and that they should move application for securing the new licenses. The counsel assailed this direction describing the same illegal and without lawful in as much as that no notification has been issued for this purpose and that directions in question also do not contain any rules for transfer of the firearms or issuance of the ammunition. The counsel appreciated the step of computerization of the licenses however he stressed that the process should be contained in the said Rules as they deal with all aspects of the matter including possession, transport, sale etc. He said without this being in place the entire scheme of the Ministry of Interior to for computerisation of the licenses will be futile and will amount to violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners. After hearing the petitioner counsel at the preliminary stage, the Court issued notice to the federal government to seek appearance of the law office on the next date of hearing.