LAHORE - Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Saturday admitted the government’s failure in providing security to the citizen in the current wave of terrorism and announced to issue arms licences of prohibited bore to legal fraternity, in lieu of terrorism threats.

During the inaugurating ceremony of a passport office at the Lahore High Court Bar Association on Saturday, Rehman Malik announced blue passports for the lawyers instead of the regular green ones used by Pakistani citizens. He also directed NADRA to open an office for issuing national identity cards within 24 hours at the LHC.

While addressing the lawyers gathered for the ceremony, Rehman Malik said that unity and democracy were vital for the sovereignty of the country and the nation could not progress without discipline and tolerance. The minister said that Pakistan was facing internal and external challenges but the nation had to unite in order to be able to tackle the pressure.

Rehman Malik said that the establishment of democracy in the country had only become possible due to free judiciary and media, without these two pillars the rule of law was impossible in the state.

He also dispelled the impression of the media reports that the government was planning to restrict the media.

“The government has no need to impose restrictions on media as it is against the norms of democracy,” Mr Malik said.

He also paid tributes to Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhmmad Chaudhary, judiciary, lawyers and the media for their struggle for democracy, independent judiciary and free media.