De-weaponisation bill presented in Senate -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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De-weaponisation bill presented in Senate

ALI HUSSAIN

ISLAMABAD: Following its introduction in the National Assembly, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Tuesday submitted The De-Weaponisation of Pakistan Bill, 2011 with the Senate Secretariat, urging all political forces to support the Bill in the Parliament.

The 24-section draft of the private members bill suggesting measures for making Pakistan a weapon-free country by banning the production, proliferation, smuggling and import of ammunition and weapons as well as use of firearms to restore peace, was submitted in the Upper House of the Parliament by MQM Senator Babar Khan Ghauri.

Later, talking to journalists outside the Parliament House, Ghauri urged all political forces of the country to support the move for making the dream of weapons-free society a reality, stressing that the bill should immediately be brought in the Parliament for passage. He said that MQM would also approach Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Awami National Party (ANP) for getting their support in this regard. Ghauri said that MQM had taken a practical step for arms-free Pakistan and the movement would also expose those giving mere statements and doing nothing in practical.

To a question whether the MQM would take the first step by starting de-weaponisation campaign from Karachi, he said in the current scenario it was need of the hour to make the entire country arms-free, adding that it was not possible to specify law for a particular area. He was of the view that arms-free Pakistan is necessary to bring investment and prosperity in the country and for this purpose, the passage of the bill was a must. He urged that no one including the feudal lords, influential and common citizens should be allowed to exhibit weapons except the armed forces, security forces and law enforcing agencies.

While referring to Section 6 of the bill, Ghauri said that all persons who possess arms, ammunition, and weapons without any authorisation or valid license, are required to surrender such arms to the authorised person or agency designated by the government in the district where they ordinarily reside, within three months from the events specified in Section 20 of the draft bill ie the period of two years from the commencement of the Act when every effort shall be made to curb and eradicate the manufacture, trade, smuggling, import and proliferation of arms, ammunitions, explosives and weapons in the country.

The bill suggests a punishment of imprisonment for a term not less than seven years and not more than 12 years and shall also be liable to fine up to Rs 5 million those contravene the provisions of Section 6 and the arms should be seized. Similarly, he referred to Section 8 of the bill, which suggests that licenses of all arms and ammunition issued to individual persons, companies and dealers by the government prior to the commencement of the Act shall stand cancelled without any notice after three months from the event specified in Section 20.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:1/19/2011