De-weaponisation: Lucky Star sells life and death

Panellist refers to the adjacent markets of surgical equipment and arms and ammunitions


Our Correspondent November 29, 2015
PHOTO: AYSHA SALEEM/ EXPRESS

KARACHI: Half of the shops in the Lucky Star area of Karachi sell life while the other half sell death.

Social activist Naeem Sadiq said this on the second day of the School of Tomorrow conference during the session, titled 'Is De-weaponisation Essential'. He was referring to the famous Lucky Star area where shops selling surgical equipment and arms and ammunition are located adjacent to each other.

The panel discussion was moderated by Ayesha Tammy Haq. Speakers at the session held at the Beach Luxury hotel presented various aspects to control weaponisation, that is the promotion of the use of weapons. The discussion panel included Fahim Zaman Khan, who is part of the Dawn media group management team and a former bureaucrat, along with Sadiq and Nuzhat Kidvai, a social activist.

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The moderator drew attention to the fact that, recently, a surge has been seen in the number of shooting incidents in the United States, but despite the high number of deaths, the right to bear arms is fiercely defended.

Sadiq agreed with Haq and added that there is an organisation in the US, known as National Rifle Association (NRA), that promotes weaponisation in the US and every time a shooting takes place, it suggests that two guards be put in every school with automatic weapons. He added that, sadly, the same policy has been adopted in Pakistan.

Further, Sadiq blamed the state for providing weapons to everyone regardless of who they are, adding that every 'big shot' receives prohibited weapons' licences from the state. Even Article 25 says that the state must provide equal protection to all the citizens, he said. In Punjab, over 50 per cent and in Sindh, more than 0.5 million licences were declared fake, he said.

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Haq raised a point about the mindset of children that weapons fascinate them. To this, Kidvai said that this mindset should be changed right from the time the child is born. She added that terrorists are also using children - they brainwash them, allure them with weapons and use them for other evils.

"Being a former administrator of the city, I never carried a gun or a guard," said Zaman. He added that in Karachi, we have to track down the source of illegal weapons as there are no such factories in Karachi that manufacture them.

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