LAHORE - Provincial Home Minister Shuja Khanzada told the Punjab Assembly on Monday that 50 per cent of total 1.8 million arms licences were fake. Nadra would computerise the arms licences by February 15, he added.

Ban on the issuance of fresh licenses will be withdrawn and illegal and bogus licenses through the Nadra scrutiny will be cancelled, the minister told the House while replying to a point of order from a member.

The minister expressed the hope that in the next session a bill on his subject will be introduced in the assembly. He said the way in Sindh 50,000 illegal arms licenses were cancelled, the same pattern will also be followed in Punjab to nullify the bogus licenses. The new arms licenses policy would also take the arms manufacturers and arms dealers in the loop.

Minister for Law and Finance Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman told the House on a point of order that all necessary funds had been released to the public colleges and schools and a strategy prepared for their utilisation in view of the security alarm. With relation to the security arrangements in the background terror threats, he said decision had been taken that officers concerned would deliver lecture on the subject in the educational institutions as well to address the problems allied to security on the spot.

The minister also said that the cabinet committee formed on the direction of chef minister to address the security is ready to deliver in camera briefing to the members, if they desired. On that Speaker Rana Iqbal asked the minister to arrange in camera briefing for the members next week.

Treasury Member Jaffar Leghari on a point of order while quoting his sources said that in Peshawar school tragedy not 150 but 300 casualties occurred whereof a strong panic gripped the people and the emerging situation requires the government to take immediate steps to address the security concerns. He also called for immediately lifting ban in arms licenses which, he added, would go a long way to protect against the terror acts.

The JI member Dr Waseem Akhtar drew attention of the chair to the $10million head money announced by America for killing Jamatud Dawa Ameer Hafiz Saeed and wanted the government to raise protest against the US authorities for interfering in the affairs of Pakistan. The Home Minister replying to this point said that the government had yet not received anything at the official level from the American authorities as such they could not react to the alleged report at this stage.

The House also extended for another 90 days Punjab Higher Education Ordinance in addition to approving the draft bills on Higher Education Punjab 2014 and Kidney and Lever Transplantation and Research Centre.

During the question-hour on the Department of Environment Protection and Special Education, Parliamentary Secretary Akmal Saifullah Chattha said the use of poly and plastic and the cement bags was mainly causing pollution.

To another question, he said that in terms of section 11 and 16 of the Environmental Protect Law, action had been taken against the factories in the urban limits for polluting the environment. However, he said, shifting of the factories to outside the urban limit is the responsibility City District Government which is taking action in this regard.