ISLAMABAD - The federal government would soon lift its ban on the issuance of arms licences, both prohibited and non-prohibited, as the Ministry of Interior has finalised its policy in this regard. The policy has been forward to the Minister of Interior for final approval.

Though the Ministry of Interior did not make any official comment on its new policy yet, the official sources confirmed that a comprehensive policy on arms licences had been finalised.

An official of the Ministry of Interior said that soon the Interior Minister would give approval, and ban on the issuance of arms licences would be lifted.

The PML-N-led government had imposed a ban on the issuance of every kind of arms licences soon after coming into power in June 2013. The Ministry of Interior has been successful in finalising the policy after a period of two years.

In the new policy, the Ministry of Interior has proposed that it would be based on 'one man one licence'.

The minimum age limit for the issuance of licence has been set at 25 years. Furthermore, prohibited bore arms licences would not be issued to common persons. Prohibited bore licence will be issued only to significant figures and to those having serious security threats while the criminal record of applicant will be checked before issuing licence. The citizens who pay taxes and have national tax number (NTN) would be given priority.

The issue of arms licences is a bone of contention between the Centre and provinces as the subject was devolved to the provinces after the 18th Amendment. The federal government has always showed reluctance to devolve this subject to the provinces while some provinces have started issuing their own arms licences especially prohibited bore arms licences.