ISLAMABAD - The Sub-Committee of Senate Standing Committee on Interior, while taking serious notice of the issuance of fake arms licences by the Ministry of Interior, on Wednesday sought complete details of 140,000 prohibited and non-prohibited arms licences issued by the Ministry during the years 2007 to 2009. The sub-committee specially constituted on the issue of fake arms licences also pointed out many loopholes in Nadras existing computerized arms licences project that was initiated in January 2011. The sub-committee that met under the chairmanship of Senator Talha Mahmood at Nadras provincial headquarters showed its great concern that officials of Ministry of Interior allegedly involved in the fake arms licences scam were working on lucrative posts including an additional secretary Imtiaz Qazi. The Interior Ministry representatives informed the sub-committee that there was no ban for issuance of arms licences from January 1, 2011 and Nadra was processing all arms licenses through a new project. The matter also came under discussion that the Prime Minister used to issue prohibited bore arms licences when a ban had been imposed on these, however, the Interior Ministry representatives claimed that the PM had discretionary powers to issue licences during ban period under the arms licences act, 1965. Under the new arms licences policy formulated with the consensus of all provincial home secretaries and imposed from November 15, 2010, Prime Minister is authorized to issue prohibited bore (PB) arms licenses while PM, Federal Interior Minister as well as federal secretary interior can issue non-prohibited bore (NPB) arms licenses. A committee comprising of Joint secretary security and a deputy secretary Ministry of Interior and home secretary of the concerned province deliberate upon the application of any person who applies for NPB license. The sub-committee was also informed that after the passage of 18th Amendment, the powers of the issuance of NPB licences would be delegated to the provinces while the authority to issue PB licenses would remain with the Prime Minister. This is being done with the consensus of the provinces, additional secretary level officer told Senator Talha. Joint Secretary Security Shabbir Ahmed informed that Ministry of Interior issued 140,000 licences from1 January 2007 to December 31, 2009. He also said that a private stationary supplier Shehzad was made incharge of the software installed by Nadra for issuance of licences. He further said that Shahzad issued almost 32000 fake arms licences within a period of two months. Shahzad also shred the data of 32000 arms licences saved in his laptop prior to his arrest, though he was bound to save this data in the ministrys computers under the law, he informed. The sub-committee came to know that the Ministry had cancelled 1297 fake arms licences that were issued on fake bank receipts without depositing fee into the national exchequer. Joint Secretary Shabbir told the participants that former State Minister for Interior had issued as many as 5986 licenses in the year 2009. SSenator Talha observed that an Additional Secretary Qazi Imtiaz, Joint Secretary Khyzer Hayat, Deputy Secretary Ramzan Javed and three Section Officers of the Ministry of Interior allegedly involved in fake arms licences scam were roaming freely, had been promoted and they had been cleared in the departmental inquiries. The sub-committee was of the view that representatives of Ministry of Interior were not fully prepared to answer the queries of the parliamentarians about the fake arms licenses scam and sought complete record of licenses issued from 2007 to 2010. Senator Talha Mehmood also sought the details from the Ministry of Interior about the arms licenses issued to foreigners, local as well as foreign companies and DynCorp Company on the request of the US ambassador. The Joint Secretary informed the Senate body that arms licences were being issued in the past to foreigners through Chief Commissioners officer on the directions of the Ministry of Interior. The policy is silent on the issue and this practice has been stopped, he said. The sub-committee also sought complete record from the Ministry of Interior that how many licences were issued on the parliamentarians quota fearing that it was used without their prior information. It also sought the names of those persons whom PM issued PB licenses during ban period.