Original Articles

De-weaponise Pakistan! But How? – by D. Asghar

MQM’s senior leader, Dr. Farooq Sattar, in the wake of recent Karachi killings, made an appeal to the masses. He wants to evaluate current laws on the books and introduce some new ones, to essentially de-weaponise Pakistan. The statement makes a very good sound bite and great headlines, but in essence sounds quite hollow.


The issue is not the legislation itself. I am sure that, there are plenty of laws on the books, forbidding use of illegal fire arms. The bigger issue is the effectiveness of all those verbose, yet. Ineffective laws. It all boils down to the implementation of these great yet meaningless laws.

Introducing more bills into the parliament, gives the impression that law makers are holding their end of the bargain. The fact is that this seemingly well intentioned idea is close to being impossible to apply on the masses.

Without naming the obvious culprits, the political parties have engaged into the warfare with latest weaponry to claim their territorial rights in a rather integral city of the nation. How would, they give up their turf of the much revered Port City. As they say, ” charity begins at home”, so who would drop the first coin in the bucket?

Then the “good old extremist”, who have supposedly made it their whole and sole aim to play with the explosives, how will they be deterred? Who is going to the bell that proverbial cat? The elite class and their security guards have a lot of arms and ammunition, supposedly for their protection. The pervasive “royal culture” which requires a fleet of armed guards, in front of the palatial mansions. Who is going to convince them to give up their “birth right” of being the VIP’s?

The criminals and the ransom gangs who abduct people at a drop of a hat, perhaps possess latest metal, which the law enforcers, such as police personnel can only dream of. Who is going to make them surrender their toys? How about student and labour unions, who thrive on Kalashnikov and TT’s as their show of power and force. Who is going to remind them, that their hands should be on the books and assembly lines so, the economic growth rate of the country can improve exponentially?

Then there are certain areas of the country famous for manufacturing the replicated versions of guns and weaponry. How will those folks, for whom weapons are a way of life be swayed to part with their identity and so called heritage?

The easy answer is that, have the military conduct an operation in the recently impacted areas of Karachi. But is that the answer to the long standing, law and order situation of the city? Perhaps a band aid solution, but the situation will be temporary as usual. As soon as the operation will cease, the city will turn into the familiar war zone. It is rather ludicrous, to expect the army to carry out an operation of disarming every single household of the country by force.

So as you can see, it is rather easy to pass a sweeping judgment with a rather well sounding statement. But when you try to reason with it, you know that it is more of a dream. My readers would be perplexed by now, where this whole thing is headed.

The everlasting solution lies, first and foremost in supremacy of the law. If the law is implemented, without any distinction and applicable to everyone, regardless of their status or affiliation that would be the first step. A few convictions of every unruly segment of the society would send the right message to the citizens.

Most importantly a non violent culture has to be introduced from the kindergarten to the highest level of education. Where people are compelled to part with these lethal ornaments. Where people do not tolerate injustice and let the law of the land take its proper course. Where life of another individual will be more precious than anything. Only then we can de-weaponise this nation. Any other idea is going to fall flat on the surface, immediately after its inception. You don’t erect a building with just mental sketches do you?

About the author

D. Asghar

D. Asghar is a Pakistani American. A Mortgage Banker by profession who loves to write as well. He blogs frequently at popular South Asian websites. A repository of some of his scribbles is http://dasgharspoliticalprism.blogspot.com/. He can be reached at dasghar@aol.com.

8 Comments

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  • Unfortunately the mindset in Pakistan is that holding the arms and ammunitions is a matter of prestige. Unless the mindset changes, you bring a hundred new laws, who will accept them???

  • All the weapons smuggled from Afghanistan and FATA ,Our agencies and army has failed to stop this ,That was their prime responsibility.
    Army has failed to perform their duty to secure our boarders
    Government should stop funding army and agencies if they are failed to do their job .

  • The arms and amo are not made in Pakistani cities. If the government is serious to fix the violence they should:

    1) Finish off the weapons and amo factories in tribal areas.

    2) Seal-Off the border of Afghanistan to cut the weapon smuggling inside Pakistan.

    3) Educate masses that ‘Aslaha is not the zewar of Man’ nor it is a part of culture/civilization as propogated by Zia…the guns are just invented about 200 years ago how can they be a part of thousand of year old civilization?

    4) Close all the Arm dealers shops in Pakistan. It will create lot of hurdles in free access to weapons.

    5) do clean up operations by Army after giving a week of submitting arms to local collection center. Give incentives to people who do it.

  • It is most unfortunate that our intelligence agencies fail to do their job of providing assistance to the Police. Honestly majority of our problems can solved if these agencies do their work.