Lawmakers get stay order against cancellation of arms licences

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday sought comments from ministry of interior, home secretary and others on a petition of lawmakers challenging the federal government’s notification that suspended all prohibited bore arms licenses.

MNA Mir Shabbir Ali Bijarani, Senator Shahid Bugti and other prominent personalities approached the high court assailing the federal government’s 26th January’s notification that suspended licenses of their arms.

The petitioners submitted that they were residents of some of the highest risked and troubled areas of Pakistan, where they face serious security and law and order situation and for that purpose they had purchased firearms after completing all codal formalities including the biometric process, obtaining and securing personal data of applicants, background security scrutiny by NADRA.

They said that the ministry of interior had suspended the licenses of their arms without intimating them. The lawyer argued that after the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan, the subject of ‘arms, fire-arms and ammunition’ was at entry 17 of the Concurrent Legislative List and did not fall in the federal government’s jurisdiction.

He said that now the subject had been transferred to the provincial government, maintaining that the impugned notification of the federal government cannot extend to the provinces and was not applicable to the petitioners as they belonged to Sindh and Baluchistan.

After the preliminary hearing, the bench issued notices to the respondent interior and home ministries as well as the law officers of the federal and the provincial governments, directing them to submit their respective replies by March 27.

In the meantime, the court issued interim order that stayed the federal government’s notification against the petitioners. It was pertinent to mention here that earlier, the Sindh Assembly Speaker and feudal lords had also obtained stay orders against the cancellation of their arms’ licences.