Pakistan

De-weaponise Pakistan

Aug 31, 2017
By Sarmad Ali 
 
In the wake of rapid of terrorism and unrest across Pakistan, the need of an hour is to de-weaponize Pakistan. The newly elected PM of Pakistan — in his maiden address — had shown his eagerness to introduce laws relating to de-weaponization of Pakistan. His eagerness could be applauded and should also be welcomed. To restore peace and deter violence across Pakistan, the policies and laws on de-weaponizationneed to be followed honesty with full force across the board. It is also relevant to state that the authorities should cancel all licenses issued by it to citizens for keeping prohibited and non-prohibited weapons in last ten years, in order to re-verify and renew these licenses.
 
Furthermore, the Government must also recover all weapons, prohibited and non-prohibited, and take them into custody. It is here pertinent to state that having a possession of any sort is prohibited in Australia, UK, China and Japan. Pakistan could follow a policy plan which was introduced in 1966 by Australia which was buyback policy plan for the country’s de-weaponization, and sincethen,the ratio of crime has been decreasing. It is a great successful example ofa de-weaponzation program.
 
Despite the fact that Article 256 of the Constitution of Pakistan forbids private armies in the country, there are thousands of private armies which the rich and influential have kept for themselves. In Sindh and Punjab, members of legislative assemblies — and I include tycoons as well — allow their private security guards to equipped with lethal and dangerous weapons. It is important for the government to introduce stringent measures to ban the unauthorized production, illicit trafficking, and possession, use and display of arms and weapons in order to control the unleashed criminal activities that are being carried out in the province explicitly and without any fear of punishment. This measure is essential for restoring peace, tranquillity, sanity and public order in the province.
 
In Punjab, the Punjab Arms Ordinance 1965 was previously known as The Pakistan Arms Ordinance. Its name was amended with the Punjab Arms Amendment Act 2014. In 2015, Punjab Arms Amendment Ordinance 2015 (III of 2015) was passed which made some drastic changes in this legislation. Previously, the offence of carrying unlicensed arm was punished with “imprisonment for a term which may extend to 7 years or with fine or with both” but after this latest amendment now the punishment for carrying unlicensed arms under section 13(a) is “Imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than two years and which may extend to 7 years and with fine”.The practice in the courts regarding offences under 13/20/65 is to punish the offender with minor fine but after this latest amendment now court is bound by law to give imprisonment of minimum of 2 years along with fine. This amendment of 2015 is made due to deteriorating law and order situation in country along with rising threat of terrorism. This law should be practiced effectively in Punjab so that general public get aware of it and take it seriously. Similar laws are in effect in other parts of the country, and those laws should also be administered effectively by the law enforcing agencies.
 
Daily Times, August 31, 2017

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