Interior ministry denies suspending firearms licences

Published: November 14, 2017
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Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal. PHOTO: APP

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD: The Interior Ministry is in a fix to deal with the constant circulation of fake notifications which are creating misinformation and resulting in deep confusion in the public.

So far the ministry has not been able to play an effective role to control these fake notifications. Generally these fake notifications circulate on social media but sometime conventional media also takes them up which creates a lot of confusion among the citizens.

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After two days of taking many rounds on the social and the mainstream media, the Ministry of Interior on Monday finally clarified that it did not issue any notification regarding the suspension of licenses of prohibited bore weapons.

The Ministry, in a statement, clarified that the matter of regulating arms, especially automatic arms, in the country is still under consideration. It further said that the media will be duly informed regarding any progress on the matter.

A few days ago a section of the media carried a story claiming that the interior ministry has suspended the licences for all prohibited bore weapons, through which automatic weapons have been registered.

According to the notification, which was later denied by the ministry, the owners of automatic weapons would be able to get their weapons replaced with semi-automatic firearms or get Rs50,000 in return for their weapons from the district administration. This fake notification had set January 15, 2018 as deadline for submitting weapons following which all licences will be considered revoked.

This is not the the first time that fake notification’s circulation created confusion in the country. Last year, the ministry had to dismiss a notification declaring November 9 a public holiday on account of Iqbal Day.

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The Ministry of Interior was forced to deny the fabricated notification when a notification in this context made rounds on social media saying the federal government had decided to declared November 9 as the public holiday. This year too fake news item has been circulating in the social media that November 9 holiday has been restored. However, this time the mainstream media did not carry a story.

Generally these fake notifications are so close to authenticity that it is difficult to judge about their genuineness. These notifications which are created through photoshop carry signatures of officials of the ministry or those who have worked with it in a specific branch.

However, it is not clear whether the ministry has taken any action against the persons who circulated fabricated news.

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