Nisar announces policy for arms licencing, ECL

08:04 PM | 10 May, 2015
Nisar announces policy for arms licencing, ECL
ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) - Federal Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan on Sunday said arms licences that have not been reviewed by his ministry by the end of the year will expire on January 1, 2016 and that new licences will not be issued to persons less than 25 years old.

Addressing media personnel in Islamabad, Nisar announced measures his ministry would take to ensure a secure environment for Pakistani citizens, which included reviewing all arms licences issued since 1970.

Nisar said ever since he took charge of the ministry, he had imposed a ban on issuing new arms licences. “The issuance of licences for weapons needs to be standardised and rules need to be in place so that the practice of issuing licences for patronage is eliminated,” he said.

But he said three provinces— Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan— had revoked the ban on issuing new arms licences. “The ban is now effective only in Punjab and federal areas,” remarked Nisar, adding that the federal government will officially approach the three provinces to urge them to re-enact the ban.

“We want to put in place a system with the help of the National Database & Regulatory Authority (NADRA) to verify all issued licences and ensure that new licences are not issued without establishing need,” said Nisar.

The minister also said a mechanism needs to be in place to keep a check on bullet-proof-vehicle manufacturers to ensure that customers are not being ripped off. “In our investigation we have come across several manufacturers who are providing substandard cars that can exacerbate danger rather than protecting customers.”

Nisar also announced a new policy with regards to names on the exit control list (ECL), saying that no individual will be placed on the ECL for more than a year from now onwards, and names already on the list can remain so for a maximum period of three years. Nisar also said a court order will be mandatory to place anyone on the ECL.

The federal interior minister also shed light on the state of private security agencies operating in the country, saying that his investigation had revealed alarming irregularities. “Hundreds of private security agencies have employed personnel who cannot operate weapons.

“Such agencies need to be regulated and proper checks need to be in place so that only trained and worthy individuals are employed to provide security,” Nisar said.