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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has approved issuance of licences of prohibited weapons to Federal Ministers Fawad Chaudhry and Zubaida Jalal, Federal Secretaries, dozens of Generals, air marshals, judges of high courts and retired bureaucrats.

On June 22, 2021, Interior Division briefed the Cabinet that as per Section 11(A)(2) of Pakistan Arms Ordinance, 1965, Federal Government/Cabinet, was the competent authority for issuance of licences for Prohibited Bore (PB) weapons/ammunition. The Ministry of Interior imposed a ban on issuance of PB and NPB arms licences since June 27, 2013 but Federal Government had lifted ban on issuance of arms licenses for Prohibited Bore category, only to the extent of gifted weapons to General Officers or equivalent, officers or other ranks of the Military in accordance with Army Regulations (Instructions) notified by Ministry of Interior on December 13, 2018, and also to certain other categories.

Interior Ministry proposed that Civil/Army Officers/Judges of the High Courts may be issued Prohibited Bore(PB) arms licences under Section 11-A (2) of Pakistan Arms Ordinance, 1965.

During a discussion, the Cabinet once again enquired as to why the cases of Prohibited Bore arms licences were being submitted for approval despite repeated directions to amend the Law/Rules to bring it under the competence of the Ministry itself. Interior Division apprised that the Bill to amend the Pakistan Arms Ordinance, 1965, was lying in the Senate and was expected to be passed soon. It was observed that the amendment in the law was not really required for this specific purpose as the competent authority could be defined in the Rules under the existing provisions of Pakistan Arms Ordinance, 1965. After a brief discussion, the Cabinet approved issuance of licences of prohibited bores to 67 applicants.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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