According to sources, Sindh government announced a campaign to computerized manual arms licenses in the province in October 2013.
Sindh government announces this campaign after getting intelligence information of large number of fake arm licenses as well as presence of illegal weapons in the province.
On first stage of the campaign 600,000 computerised arm license forms were issued to the public. The general public responded in the way, 200,000 forms were submitted to relevant deputy commissioner offices.
Home department did not respond to public interest and not even a single computerized arm license was issued. This kind of poor behavior of the department created disappointment in the public.
Despite of that now home department has changed the last date of submission of forms more than four times, could not get any response from the general public of Sindh.
It seems government is joking with us, and has no interest in making this campaign a result oriented, said an arm dealer on anonymity.
He said that people are purchasing weapons and openly using the old licenses, and added, I think this compaign can not be successful.
It is necessary to mention here that in the tenure of last government more than 200,000 manual arms licenses were issued to the political workers.
The political parties of Sindh provided weapons with licenses to their activists, Ex home minister Sindh, Zulfiqar Mirza, accepted in his speech that he had issued thousands of licenses to his workers for self defence.
“These licenses had issued on the quota of home minister, home secretary, MPAs and other high ups of the government and its allied parties,” sources in the home department said.
More than 90 percent of the licenses were issued to the political workers of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
The issue of cleansing the city of weapons has been discussed frequently in recent months in assemblies, but so far no concrete measure or step has been taken to deal with the menace.
According to the figures, in 2010, the Sindh Home Department had issued 83,000 arms licences, much more than those issued in the 62-year history of the country, while in 2011, more than 60,000 licenses had been issued.
According to the government figures, the Musharaf government in its five years issued more than 85,000 licenses during 2002 to 2007, but the same number of licenses was issued by the PPP government in 2010 alone.
The officers of the home department are working as puppets of the political parties, the sources said. “Normally, political leaders just send a list of hundreds of his activists to any of the official of the home department and receive the licenses in ready condition just after a few days, per his list,” sources said.
Due to manual licenses, there is no way to keep a computerised record of licenses issued.
“There is no way to keep a check on distribution, purchase or manufacturing of arms and ammunition, making it easy for people to get hold of illegal weapons. Even the weapons seized from suspects are not recorded under a proper system,” they added.