Computerised Arms Licenses

The Federal Interior Minister and Home Minister Balochistan’s efforts to take every measure necessary for law and order of the province are evident from the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) chairman and provincial Home Secretary signed. This MoU between NADRA and provincial government is an attempt to control the flow of illegal and unrecorded weapons in the area, and for this purpose, the authorities have decided to issue computerised arms licenses.

It is encouraging that implementation of government’s intentions to make the country free form illegal weapons are moving beyond simple proclamations and lofty words. The process of keeping an electronic record is a more secure and efficient way of keeping a comprehensive record of weapons that the citizens of the country possess.

Though Sindh and Punjab have already taken steps to computerize the licenses, however, control on weapons and keeping a proper check on arms should be the priority of the federation as well. The menace of illegal weapons and weaponisation of society is not limited to Balochistan only. Despite the two provincial government’s initiatives in this regard, the issue of possession of unlawful armaments still looms large.

It is hard to comprehend that the federal government is not taking such steps in the rest of the country. Admittedly, the law and order situation in Balochistan is worse than in any other province, but this does not mean that other provinces are crime free or that they do not struggle with bad law and order situation. A federal initiative should be taken nationwide to register the weapons licenses. The government has all the technical assistance and expertise that the process needs.

While issuing computerized licenses will help in eliminating fake permits, the real problem is the enforcement of it. Without active steps from the government to deweaponise the society, people will have no real incentives to cooperate with the state.

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