ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Interior Tuesday decided to finalize its policies on four issues including Exit Control List (ECL), granting permission for possession of bulletproof vehicles, regulations for security companies and issuance of arms licences.

The decision was taken at a high level meeting held at the Ministry of Interior chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to finalize policies at least four issues confronted by the ministry. At the outset of the meeting, the interior minister shared his observations and put forth his ideas on these important areas. The meeting reached a consensus that such policies would be made on these four issues that could provide maximum benefit to the law-abiding citizens and the taxpayers.

The meeting decided to constitute four committees, each to be headed by a senior officer of the rank of additional secretary, to further deliberate on fine-tuning and refining important existing policies vis-à-vis Exit Control List, granting permission for bullet-proofing of the vehicles, regulations on security companies and issuance of arms. The committees were asked to present their proposals within seven days.

The incumbent government soon after holding power had banned issuance of all kinds of prohibited and non-prohibited (NPB) arms licenses. After the announcement of the arms policy, the government is likely to lift ban on issuance of arms licenses.

Discussing the existing policy on issuance of arms licenses, the chair said that it was their sincere effort to introduce a system that should benefit all. He said that though the provinces were authorized to grant arms licenses but it was quite anomalous to note that there was a ban on arms licenses in Punjab and at the federal level while the same were being granted in other two provinces.

The meeting stressed upon the need for early re-validation of the existing arms licenses and tasked the committee to come up with workable proposal as to how the to process of re-validation of existing arms licenses could be expedited. Again, the minister emphasized upon the need for maximum facilitation of the taxpayers. He advised the committee to deliberate as to how an effective check on the number of the licenses to be issued can be maintained.

The meeting decided that there was need to chalk out a mechanism for regulating arms dealers and their businesses in the country.

On ECL, the minister said that there was a need for putting in place a proper system for making entries into ECL with clearly defined parameters and levels to recommend entries into the ECL.

Discussing issue of bulletproofing of the vehicles, the meeting underscored the need for devising a mechanism to ascertain the need for grant of such permission to any person. It was considered in the meeting that there was a need to make an assessment committee within the ministry that could scrutinize and analyse such requests without referring it to the intelligence agencies in the first instance.

The minister said that it was quite surprising to note that even those people who hardly pay any taxes apply for this facility.

Sharing his line of action with the meeting, he said that only those citizens should enjoy this facility that were regular taxpayers and had genuine security concerns.

“We need to discourage those elements who use bullet proof vehicles as a status symbol,” a statement of the Ministry of Interior said while quoting the interior minister.

On issue of regulating security companies providing security services to the people, Nisar said that there was an urgent need to review the services that the security companies were providing to their clients.

The meeting discussed that being a license holder should be mandatory for a security company to have a work force which has the necessary skills and adequate training to perform their security functions.

Secretary Ministry of Interior, additional secretaries of the ministry, NACTA officials, Commissioner Islamabad and senior officials of NADRA and other departments concerned attended the meeting.