License issuing authority to be transferred to provinces by June 30: Malik

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister, Rehman Malik said Thursday that the authority of issuing weapon licenses would be transferred to provinces by June 30, according to the devolution plan under 18th amendment.Speaking on a point of order in the upper house of the parliament, he said that the federal government would be responsible for providing such licenses only in the capital city and its administered areas.Malik said that personally he was in favour to de-weapon all the country,particularly big cities including Karachi and Lahore, remarking that the countries living peacefully do not provided weapon licenses to its citizens.

He said that he has checked record of past several years during which licenses were provided unlawfully, adding he would be canceling such licenses to check their misuse.He said the several weapons were even being used under one license which shows the extent of the misuse. He said that licenses are now being prepared with the help of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to prevent their misuse.On the issue of National Commission for Human Development, the interior minister said that it would be the violation of the constitution if the provinces do not accept accommodating such institutions.He proposed that if the provinces are not interested in accommodating such institutions according to devolution plan they should be brought back under the  control of federal government.He, however, suggested the Senate to form a committee and address the problems of devolution. He said that the devolution affects are not limited to NCHD employees only as it could expand to a greater extent.

He demanded that all NCHD teachers should be accommodated and if the provinces are not implementing the 18th amendment in letter and spirit they  should be asked for.He said that police has applied light lathi charge on the demonstrating  NCHD teachers which should have not been done adding that he had ordered release  of 47 arrested teacher when the matter was brought into his notice.Regarding ban on mobile phone service in Bannu, the interior minister said that it was due to security arrangements and government was evolving how to  provide service, though limited, in the area.

The interior minister said that motorways police was helping interior  ministry in its efforts to eliminate terrorism in the country adding that   FC in Balochistan has also been asked to conduct road patrolling for ensuring  security.On the KESC issue, the interior minister said that Prime Minister has  convened a committee to resolve the issue.The interior minister urged the Senate Standing Committee on interior  to complete amendments in the Anti-Terrorist Act soon to help effective prosecution of anti-social elements.He said that National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) act would be presented before the parliament for approval to help overcome the menace of  terrorism on sustainable basis.To another query, he said that there has been anti-terrorist squad in all the forces. – APP