Punjab government and NADRA for computerisation of arms licenses

LAHORE ( HAFEEZ REPORT )

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Punjab government and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for computerisation of arms licenses in Punjab.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan were the chief guests at the ceremony held at ModelTown Tuesday. Punjab Home Secretary Maj (r) Azam Suleman and acting NADRA chairman Shahid Hamid signed the document.

Under the agreement, the existing system of issuance of arms licenses in Punjab would be changed and a consolidated and comprehensive computerised arms license information management system would be evolved and all old licenses would be replaced with new computerised chip cards under a phased programme. The project would be completed within 140 days.

Addressing the ceremony, the Punjab chief minister welcomed the agreement between the Punjab government and NADRA for evolving computerised arms license information management system. He said that the project of computerisation of arms licenses in Punjab is a milestone towards setting up a peaceful society. He thanked Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan and NADRA authorities for extending fullest cooperation for the computerisation of entire system of issuing arms licenses.

He said that the Punjab government and NADRA will change the existing system of issuing of licenses and devise a comprehensive computerised arms license information management system. He said that the existing obsolete arms licenses in booklet form would be replaced with computer chip cards. He said that Punjab government with the help of NADRA is laying the foundation of such a system of issuance of licenses which would be error-free. He said that there is a need for purging the society of weapons for providing a peaceful and violence-free atmosphere to the citizens. He said that the decision of computerisation of arms licenses is an important and revolutionary step in this direction. He said that after computerisation, the chip card of every license would be linked with arms manufacturers, arms sellers and arms repairers through a database.

The chief minister said that under the agreement, a computerised system of issuance of licenses would be evolved in all districts of the province. A centre of the system would also be established in the building of Interior Ministry which would be in contact with the Special Branch and DPOs across the province. The project is being started initially in five districts of Punjab.

Shahbaz said that the Punjab government has been in the forefront in the use of IT in every sector of life. He said that land record computerisation, use of smart cameras and information technology in the campaign against dengue and also on religious and national festivals are examples of this fact. He said that arms licenses were issued recklessly in the past and even licenses were issued for such weapons which were of prohibited bore.

He said that the issuance of computerised arms licenses is a revolutionary step towards curbing of illegal weapons and improvement of law and order. He said that NADRA and the Punjab government would work as a team for this purpose. Offering NADRA the data available with Punjab government under land record information management system for the project of issuing computerized arms licenses, Shahbaz Sharif said that NADRA can benefit from land record information management system which would substantially reduce the cost on the project as well as help its early completion.

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