Consider a house infested with bugs, insects and rodents. The occupants, instead of cleaning and fumigating the house, resort to obtaining high quality anti-mosquito sprays and anti-rodent lotions. The insects soon develop immunity and the occupants are forced to use yet stronger chemicals. While the sale of sprays and creams goes up, the occupants continue to be bitten, fall sick and stay miserable. No one bothers to point out that the root cause needs to be addressed not temporary solutions but removing the cause of the problem!

The news that doctors in Sindh will be issued arms licenses and given weapon handling training is profoundly sad and immensely unwise. It only demonstrates our refusal to clean and fumigate our houses and instead opting for cheap quick fixes. Does it mean that in the new scheme of things all businessmen, industrialists, Shias, Ahmadis, Sikhs and Hindus would also be given licenses and military training to pre-empt their potential assailants? Weapons will add to the level of violence and madness. Are we not proliferating the very instruments that have turned our country into the most dangerous place on earth?

It is the responsibility of the state to protect its citizens. It can do so by withdrawing 40 percent of its police, currently engaged in VIP duties, and spread them in the city to protect its citizens. It can also do so by forcing all militants to surrender their weapons! It can do so by understanding that the solution to our sickness lies not in ‘more weapons’ but in ‘no weapons’. Little may be expected from the Sindh government, famous for its penchant for indiscriminate licensing, distribution and promotion of weapons, but one hopes that Punjab CM and PM will stop this nonsense before it spreads like fire and everyone starts carrying arms.

One also hopes that our people will reject guns and turn down this disgusting and insane arrangement. One hopes that many of them will instead lead the movement for a ‘gun free’ and peaceful Pakistan.


Karachi, March 23.