GUJRANWALA - The weapons of prohibited bore are being sold without any restriction in various cities especially in the Gujranwala Division and also smuggled to other parts of the Punjab province, it is learnt.

Despite a ban, weapons of 44 bore, 7mm, 8mm, .222, .223, .303, AK47 under the very nose of the authorities concerned are being sold though no dealer across the division has authority to sell such weapons. These dealers having Non Prohibited Bore license are selling the prohibited bore weapons openly while illegal weapons of all sorts are also imported from Darra Adam Khail. Anyone has easy access to such arms through the corrupt elements in the ammunition branch.

An ammunition dealer on condition of anonymity told TheNation that no one in the whole division has dealership for the PB arms sale and can only sell 22 bore weapons. However, 70 percent of dealers have given their business on contract to the Pushtoons. As the ammunition license cannot be transferred as per the law, the dealers show fake partnership with the Pushtoons for legal justification.

He added that the Pushtoons smuggle the prohibited arms of all sorts from Darra Adam Khail and sell them to everyone. They are prior informed about any raid by officials from the ammunition department and they flee back to their native places.

He maintained that the Pushtoons get shops on contract and further smuggle the ammunition to Lahore, Sailkot, Sheikhupura, Narowal etc. About the details of smuggling from Darra Adam Khail, he said that freight for carriage of rifle from Darra to Gujranwala is Rs3,500 and of pistol is Rs1,000 while the rate of bullet is Rs4 and Rs2 respectively and of prohibited bore bullet is Rs5. He said the contractor receives the consignment from Gujranwala Bypass and carry onwards to their respective destinations, local or smuggle to outstation points like Lahore and Sialkot where the arms are sold without the data entry in their register to avoid checking. 

He added that most of the arms dealers don’t even have strong room which is required as per the Constitution of Pakistan. A many dealers’ licenses have been cancelled even then they are working openly and selling the arms. He said that most of the arms dealers have given their shops on contract. He added that a many of the license owners have died or gone abroad while the Pushtoons are working on their license by showing fake partnership deeds.

Some of the dealers are working under the names of Farooq Brothers, Aroop Ammunition Dealer, Khawaja and Khawaja, Masood and Co, Sufi Arms Dealers, Sardar Traders etc which, he said. When contacted, DCO Najam Shah said that illegal ammunition is the main problem and should be dealt with sternly and “we are going to take solid steps to stop the sale of illegal arms”. He further said, “We will look into the matter but it will take some time to curb the illegal practice.”

He maintained that the mafia had a huge network usually beyond the authority of a DCO so the district administration would end the evil with the support of the federal government.