LAHORE: The Punjab Interior Department has established a fact-finding committee to identify hundreds of forged arms licenses issued from Lahore district.
The committee, with the help of National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) record, post office and weapons branch of the deputy commissioner office (DCOs), has started investigations.
According to initial investigations, different DCOs issued more licenses than the quota set by the government. It was also revealed that there was a possibility of issuing a large number of licenses which were converted into computerised cards through false verification.
Earlier this month, a five-member fact-finding committee has been formed on the order of Additional Chief Secretary Punjab Captain (Retd) Fazeel Asghar.
The Punjab Interior Department's judicial deputy secretary was made convener while section officer judicial (one), section officer judicial (two), as well as a representative each from NADRA's and the Pakistan Post Office were among the members.
The committee will check the arms license records of the Lahore deputy commissioner, the post office, weapons dealers and other related department and officials.
A special task will also be assigned to the committee to specifically review pending licenses received for approval by the office of the deputy commissioner.
The committee will confirm which licences were found to be dubious and would also recommending actions against the responsible people. In a final report, the committee would also give suggestions to prevent forged licenses in future.
In Punjab, more than 2.4 million weapon licenses have been issued while NADRA has computerised around one million licenses so far. In Lahore, the number of issued arms licenses is about 0.7 million.
According to sources, the government had set a monthly quota for the number of licences in each district. At first, the quota of 40 licenses per month was set for Lahore, which later was changed to 125 licenses per month. However, during that time, hundreds of licenses were issued every month.
Therefore, te committee has been formed to look into these serious irregularities as it discovered that fake biometric confirmation was attempted to create computerised licenses.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Punjab Interior Department Additional Secretary (Judicial) Adnan Arshad Aulakh said that on the directives of the provincial government, the Punjab Interior Department has started taking stern action against the keepers and makers of forged licenses. He added that the fact-finding committee has been formed to review records and data.
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