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Non-prohibited bore licences banned

RAWALPINDI, Jan 9: The Punjab home department has banned issuance of non-prohibited bore (NBP) licences till general elections.

A notification in this regard had been issued by the provincial government on January 4 after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) banned the issuance of all arms licences, sources said on Wednesday.

The notification of the Punjab home department was addressed to all the district co-ordination officers (DCOs) and district police officers (DPOs).

The ECP has already banned the display of arms during election campaign and on polling day.

The Rawalpindi DCO, Saqib Zafar, who could issue the arm licences for non-prohibited bore, confirmed that the provincial government had issued the notification.

To a question, he said there had been no special arms licences quota for politicians.

“We issue licences below the quota allotted to the DCOs because we do not want to encourage people carrying weapons as it  may prove dangerous for the society,” the DCO said.

He said whenever any person submits his request for issuance of arm license, he is allowed in line with the government policy and rules.

DCO Saqib Zafar said he used to issue 50 arm licences per month during January to June, 2012, but later the quota was enhanced to 250.

However, a total 820 licences for non-prohibited bore weapons were issued during 2012.

According to a police official, 30 bore, 9mm, 32 bore pistols, 12 bore gun, 12 bore repeater and 7mm and 8mm rifles fall in the category of non-prohibited bore arms.

The federal interior ministry can issue prohibited weapons licences whereas provincial government can issue non-prohibited bore permits.