A half page advertisement of Pakistan Ordinance Factories (POF) was carried by most national newspapers on November 28, 2014. The advertisement announced availability of POF-made high quality, irreversible semi-automatic, weapons to public (read VIPs) of Pakistan. I am sure that the Chairman of POF fully understands that the weapons can perform only one function and that is to kill? If he is a resident of Pakistan, he would know how Pakistan is being brutalised by the already available 20 million uncontrolled weapons, in the hands of civilians. If the Chairman reads Pakistani newspapers, then he would also know, the huge benefits being delivered by these weapons! He might also be aware that Pakistan has already lost its monopoly over violence and while the rulers avail bullet-proof vehicles, at the tax payers’ expense, ordinary citizens are at the mercy of militants, killers, mafias and private militias of all shades.
As the company intends to sell these as ‘licensed’ weapons it is clear who the beneficiary of these ‘licenses’ are? This is the forte of the powerful, rich and militant ruling elite of this country. Everyone who has access to a computer knows that our honourable parliamentarians are the most armed individuals, as they have been issued 69,473 prohibited bore arms licenses, only in the last six years.
Under these circumstances, the advertisement is an abhorrent attempt at proliferation of weapons in Pakistan. POF is patronizing an activity that is not just undesirable and distasteful but also destructive. It may therefore be a good idea to stop advertising weapons for public and instead redirect them to the law-enforcing agencies that might be able to put them to better use.
NAEEM SADIQ,
Karachi, November 30.