In Pakistan the laws are for the law abiding citizens . The ‘Arms and Ammunition’ policies have deprived the law abiding citizens of quality NPB arms and ammunition and the right of self defence outside their homes. The government is unable to protect them against well armed criminals, who may strike anyone, anywhere and anytime with impunity as police cannot be everywhere. Arms license fees are periodically increased to boost revenue which means self-defence is heavily taxed and discouraged. As such, the arms policies has unwittingly improved safety of the criminals.
Some drawing-room intellectuals expressed fears in the past that if law-abiding citizens were permitted to carry arms, Pakistan would be a Wild West but I believe that Pakistan is already worse than the Wild West! The law abiding Americans were well armed, license-free, and they could carry arms anywhere for self defence. They fought back, assisted the police and suffered some casualties but ultimately crushed the criminals. Even now many Americans carry handguns, for self-defence outside their homes. We must take seriously the US NRA slogan: If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
At present we have more illegal arms, which must be at least twenty times more than the licensed arms in the country. So it is better to go after the armed criminals than the armed citizens who the government has failed to protect. I appeal to the government to kindly organize the armed law-abiding citizens to assist the security forces in locating and arresting criminals. The security forces cannot do it alone, as has already been proved, despite countless sacrifices, rather crime is increasing.
Registered arms help the government maintain law and order as they are registered, labelled and identified, the government should be putting more stress on curtailing movement of illegal arms across Pakistan with impunity. This arms race in Pakistan carried out by criminals who can afford the best and the latest weapons has affected the performance of our police, which is issued old and un-usable weapons. The government should change the police policies, behaviour as well as the equipment provided to them.
ENGR. M. AKRAM NIAZI,
Rawalpindi, January 20.