QUETTA: National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and the Balochistan government on Thursday inked an MoU for computerisation of arms licenses in a bid to tackle the flow of unregistered arms in the province.
NADRA Chairman Usman Mobin and Balochistan Home Secretary Dr Akbar Harifal signed the MoU, in a ceremony attended by Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti, NADRA Projects Director General Zulfiqar Ali, Quetta director general, and other senior officials of the provincial government.
The government hopes to reap similar successes achieved in the Punjab, Sindh and Federal Arms License Projects through computerisation of 0.3 million manual licenses in Balochistan, said APP.
Similar to arms license computerisation projects that have been implemented across Sindh and Punjab, the move will help to promote an effective management and monitoring of private arms in the country.
According to the MoU, 34 sites will be established by the NADRA across Balochistan, where citizens, who have old manual licenses, can visit to first get validation of their licenses and then be issued computerised licenses through proper legal channels.
To highlight some past success of the arms license project, since the arms license revalidation campaign ended in December 2015, a total of 180,000 arms licenses were computerised and revalidated while around 8,000 licenses were found to be bogus during the campaign.
These figures highlight the fact that a number of privately owned weapons in the country is quite high, and subsequently, there is also a high probability that many of these arms are illegally obtained.
Thus it is vital for initiatives such as these to be taken, as there is a need for strict regulation when it comes to the possession of arms in the country given national security situation, especially in provinces such as Balochistan which has fell victim to numerous terrorist attacks, particularly targeting law enforcement agencies (LEAs).