Almost every one out of 58 arms licences – issued by the country’s top institution responsible for controlling proliferation of illegal weapons – has been found to be forged.
A recent investigation done by an internal committee of the Ministry of Interior reveals that some 7, 212 licences, from among the 425, 261 arm licences issued to individuals from 1971 to 2012, were found forged.
“A dangerous rise in proliferation of illegal arms was witnessed in last eight years. Federal government issued 0.2 million licences from 2005 to 2012,” said the official who attended an important meeting on arms licences, passports and Islamabad Safe City Project on Wednesday.
The meeting was chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who ordered to cancel all licences if their holders fail to get them registered through National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) by December 31, 2015.
A statement issued after the meeting said the interior minister was informed that 352, 843 arms licences were manual and NADRA was in process of renewing all of them and issuing computerised licences. NADRA has received 171, 033 applications for renewal of manual licences, it added.
A senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed some top officials of the ministry were involved in issuing fake arms licences. He said there was a huge scandal that involved issuance of some 138 fake licences to an American defence contractor, DynCorp.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2015.