ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa expressed frustration on Wednesday over the unregulated licensing of weapons in Pakistan, directing questions to the interior ministry, home departments, and law enforcement regarding the ease of obtaining weapons and their licenses.
The chief justice emphasized that the prevalence of weapons and drugs has had a detrimental impact on the nation, stressing the need to eradicate the Kalashnikov culture in Pakistan.
He remarked that such a culture is not observed globally, where individuals do not casually carry Kalashnikovs in heavily tinted cars.
During the hearing of a bail plea for a petitioner accused of theft, CJP Isa revealed that he had been offered a Kalashnikov license. The petitioner, Kashif, faced charges related to a theft in which weapons were also stolen from a citizen’s home.
Seeking details on the number of licenses issued for prohibited weapons nationwide, the chief justice directed concerned authorities to provide the information.
The Supreme Court issued notices to the interior secretary, provincial home secretaries, inspector generals, attorney general for Pakistan, and provincial advocate generals, with copies of the order to be dispatched.
CJP Isa criticized the police for not demanding a license from the owner whose weapon was stolen, highlighting the confession of the theft victim. Expressing concern over lax verification, he hinted at potential action against the inspector general.
The chief justice announced plans to write to the interior secretary for the return of all Kalashnikovs and their licenses.
He lamented the presence of guards with Kalashnikovs outside homes in Islamabad, individuals carrying weapons in schools and markets, and the police hesitating to question those with tinted glasses on their vehicles.
CJP Isa questioned the wisdom of allowing individuals with Kalashnikovs to roam freely, emphasizing the difficulty in distinguishing between a terrorist and an ordinary person carrying such weapons.