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An appeal to educational institutions

No citize­n, regard­less of rank or status, must be allowe­d to posses­s, carry or displa­y any weapon of any kind

KARACHI: The Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVS) became the first major educational institution in Karachi to declare itself a ‘weapon-free zone’. No one, regardless of his or her rank or designation, is permitted to enter the institute with weapons of any kind. Even the security guards do not carry weapons. The IVS deserves praise and appreciation for its bold and unequivocal public stand against weaponisation. Citizens Against Weapons is a citizens’ group working for a peaceful and weapon-free Pakistan. It believes and campaigns for a totally weapon-free citizenry and totally weapon-free educational institutions. No citizen, regardless of his or her rank or status, must be allowed to possess, carry or display any weapon of any kind.

We appeal to all those who regulate, operate, manage, control or monitor any educational institution, private or public, big or small to urgently undertake the following actions: 1) Declare all educational institutions weapon-free zones. This must be displayed prominently on large banners and posters placed at entry gates of institutions; 2) Carry out active surveillance to identify compliance of the above instructions; 3) Encourage teachers and faculty to act as role models for solving problems using non-violent means.

Citizens Against Weapons appeals to the Higher Education Commission, all vice-chancellors, provincial education ministers, education secretaries, and principals of private and public educational institutions to play their part in building a weapon-free society by publicly declaring their institutions weapon-free zones and ensuring that this rule is strictly applied across the board.

Naeem Sadiq

Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2015.

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