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Legislators seek arms licenses before term ends

Three weeks before coalition government’s tenure ends, the lawmakers instead of raising public issues on Monday consumed most of their time in the National Assembly protesting over the delay in the issuance of arms licences and the non-cooperative attitude of the bureaucracy.

The strong protest by members, including allies in the ruling coalition, compelled Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf to direct the interior secretary to issue arms licences within a week to lawmakers who had applied for it and completed all formalities.

Even Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Mohammad Sajjad, who belongs to the ruling PML-N, lodged a strong protest, stating that he was also unable to meet the interior minister. Mr Sajjad said he had been unable to get the minister’s signatures on his own file, stating that he had seen the members wandering in the corridors of the ministry for hours waiting for the interior minister.

Defense Minister Khawaja Asif not only endorsed the lawmakers’ demand, but stated that every citizen of the country needed arms because of the deteriorating security situation in the country.