PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has ordered the provincial government to issue licences of prohibited bore armaments to the lawyers of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
A bench comprising Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Lal Jan Khattak issued the directives during the hearing of a petition filed by Shabbir Hussain Gigyani, Farmanullah Sailab and Azhar Yousaf.
Sailab told the court the precarious law and order situation has made it a necessity for legal practitioners to obtain higher calibre arms for self-defence.
“The attackers are equipped with sophisticated guns while the common man is allowed to bear only traditional arms,” he said, adding the requirement is in light of the right to defend oneself. He said political workers, MPAs, MNAs and Senators are allowed to carry prohibited bore armaments while other vulnerable segments of the society are disallowed. Sailab added the discrimination is a violation of Article 25 of the Constitution and Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948.
PHC Bar Association General Secretary Muhammad Ayaz Khan told the court two lawyers were gunned down in Tank district three days ago. He said the government has already allowed doctors and teachers to carry prohibited bore arms even though the legal community is also in the eye of the storm. Muhammad Ayaz clarified the directives for allowing doctors to carry such arms were verbal, with which Additional Advocate General Qaiser Ali Shah concurred.
Upon hearing the arguments, the court instructed the provincial government to issue licences of prohibited bore firearms to the lawyers of K-P. Legal practitioners were directed to submit their applications through district bars and circuit bench bars that will forward them to the relevant district administrations.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2015.
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